Cucumis metuliferus seed
Name: African Horned Melon
Scientific Name: Cucumis Metaliferus
A truly unique melon from Sub Sahara Africa, this strange vine produces 3-5” fruit covered in pointy horns that give it an otherworldly look. The fruit starts green but matures to yellow-orange when ripe. With a tropical taste described as a blend of banana, lime and cucumber, the melons when cut into overflow with deep green pulp pieces great fresh or in salads, smoothies or salads. When ripe the fruit will be semi firm to the touch and no green will be left on it. We found it was better to leave it on the vine longer rather than pulling early because under ripe fruit tends to be very dry and not flavorful. It is a great source of Vitamin A, C, beta Carotene, magnesium, zinc and calcium. The pulp is also very high in water so for many this a source of water in the hot dry months when water is scarce.
For a long season and quicker production, especially where winters are exceptionally cool, it is best started indoors 2-4 weeks before the soil is consistently above 60. Germination is best at 65-85 so sow seeds 1” deep in a soilless mixture indoors and keep moist and warm until germination in 7-14 days. Transplant to 4” pots when two sets of true leaves are present and the plants are safe to work with. Plant starts in full sun location in moderately rich well-draining soil in mounds 14” apart, with 7’ between rows. Keep moist until established, drought tolerant thereafter.
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