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Cucumis melo momordica - (Roxb.)Duthie.&J.B.Fuller.

Common Name Snap Melon
Family Cucurbitaceae
USDA hardiness 9-11
Known Hazards The sprouting seed produces a toxic substance in its embryo[65].
Habitats Derived through cultivation, it is not known in a truly wild location.
Range Probably native of Asia, though it has been in cultivation for so long its native habitat is obscure
Edibility Rating    (4 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care
Tender Moist Soil Full sun
Cucumis melo momordica Snap Melon


Cucumis melo momordica Snap Melon

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Cucumis melo momordica is a ANNUAL CLIMBER growing to 1.5 m (5ft).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 10 and is frost tender. It is in flower from July to September, and the seeds ripen from August to October. The species is monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and is pollinated by Insects. The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Habitats

 Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit  Oil  Seed
Edible Uses: Oil

Fruit - raw or cooked[183]. The fruits are small and smooth, either oval or cylindrical in shape with a mealy, somewhat insipid or slightly sour flesh[183]. They are eaten when young and still tender, either raw or cooked as a vegetable. Ripe fruits are used for dessert[183]. Seed - raw[57, 86, 105]. Rich in oil with a nutty flavour but very fiddly to use because the seed is small and covered with a fibrous coat[K]. The seed contains between 12.5 - 39.1% oil[218]. An edible oil is obtained from the seed[105, 183].

Medicinal Uses

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The fruits can be used as a cooling light cleanser or moisturiser for the skin[201]. They are also used as a first aid treatment for burns and abrasions[201]. The flowers are expectorant and emetic[218]. The fruit is stomachic[218]. The seed is antitussive, digestive, febrifuge and vermifuge[218]. When used as a vermifuge, the whole seed complete with the seed coat is ground into a fine flour, then made into an emulsion with water and eaten. It is then necessary to take a purge in order to expel the tapeworms or other parasites from the body[7]. The root is diuretic and emetic[218].

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Other Uses

Oil

None known

Cultivation details

Requires a rich, well-drained moisture retentive soil and a warm, very sunny position[200]. A frost-tender annual plant, the snap melon is occasionally cultivated, especially in warmer climates than Britain, for its edible fruit. This form is also of value in breeding programmes for pest and disease resistance. Some varieties may succeed outdoors in Britain in hot summers but in general it is best to grow melons under protection in this country[1, 200]. Grows well with corn and sunflowers but dislikes potatoes[20, 201]. The weeds fat hen and sow thistle improve the growth and cropping of melons[201].

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Propagation

Seed - sow early to mid spring in a greenhouse in a rich soil. Germination should take place within 2 weeks. Sow 2 or 3 seeds per pot and thin out to the best plant. Grow them on fast and plant out after the last expected frosts, giving them cloche or frame protection for at least their first few weeks if you are trying them outdoors.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Cucumis anguriaGherkin, West Indian gherkin31
Cucumis meloMelon, Cantaloupe42
Cucumis melo agrestisWild Melon32
Cucumis melo cantalupensisCantaloupe Melon42
Cucumis melo chitoOrange Melon32
Cucumis melo conomonPickling Melon42
Cucumis melo flexuosusSerpent Melon42
Cucumis melo inodorusHoneydew Melon42
Cucumis metuliferusHorned Cucumber, African horned cucumber22
Cucumis sativusCucumber, Garden cucumber42

 

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Expert comment

Author

(Roxb.)Duthie.&J.B.Fuller.

Botanical References

200

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

Dr. Soham Pandya   Wed Nov 27 21:22:29 2002

we are trying to make at least 10 different items from the fruits of Snap melon which has a life of at least one yearlike squash, bread spread, wefers,etc

smita singh   Tue Sep 25 2007

any molecular work based on the cucumis melo momordica in india as well as outside india.

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