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Cucumis melo agrestis - (Naudin.)Pangalo.

Common Name Wild Melon
Family Cucurbitaceae
USDA hardiness 9-11
Known Hazards The sprouting seed produces a toxic substance in its embryo[65].
Habitats Naturalized in many areas of the world, though it is not known in a truly wild location. It is a weed of cultivated fields in Turkey[93], probably as an escape from gardens.
Range Probably native of Asia, though it has been in cultivation for so long its native habitat is obscure
Edibility Rating    (3 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care
Tender Moist Soil Full sun
Cucumis melo agrestis Wild Melon


http://flickr.com/photos/91314344%40N00/
Cucumis melo agrestis Wild Melon
http://flickr.com/photos/91314344%40N00/

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Cucumis melo agrestis 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
Edible Uses:

Fruit - raw[1, 2, 46, 105]. A bitter flavour[183]. The ripe fruit can be eaten raw, whilst the immature fruits are cooked as a vegetable[272]. 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]. A paste of the plant is applied as a poultice around the naval when there is difficulty in urinating[272].

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Other Uses

None known

Special Uses

Cultivation details

Requires a rich, well-drained moisture retentive soil and a warm, very sunny position[200]. A frost-tender annual plant, this form of the melon is closest to the wild species. The fruit has a bitter flavour but the plant is of potential value in breeding programmes. 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 NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Cucumis anguriaGherkin, West Indian gherkinAnnual Climber2.4 9-11  LMHNM310
Cucumis meloMelon, CantaloupeAnnual Climber1.5 9-11  LMHNM420
Cucumis melo cantalupensisCantaloupe MelonAnnual Climber1.5 9-11  LMHNM42 
Cucumis melo chitoOrange MelonAnnual Climber1.5 9-11  LMHNM32 
Cucumis melo conomonPickling MelonAnnual Climber1.5 9-11  LMHNM42 
Cucumis melo flexuosusSerpent MelonAnnual Climber1.5 9-11  LMHNM42 
Cucumis melo inodorusHoneydew MelonAnnual Climber1.5 9-11  LMHNM42 
Cucumis melo momordicaSnap MelonAnnual Climber1.5 9-11  LMHNM42 
Cucumis metuliferusHorned Cucumber, African horned cucumberAnnual Climber1.5 9-11  LMHNM22 
Cucumis sativusCucumber, Garden cucumberAnnual Climber2.0 9-11  LMHNM42 

 

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Expert comment

Author

(Naudin.)Pangalo.

Botanical References

200

Links / References

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

Readers comment

Audrey Yoeckel   Thu Nov 24 2005

We have a wild melon here in Stonewall County, Texas that the locals refer to as "piemelon". Except for the bitter taste and "hairy" seeds (these are smooth) you mention the rest of the description perfectly describes these. The ivory/yellow flesh is somewhat astringent raw and has a mild flavor like cucumber. The oil content of the seeds is very high. I was looking for piemelon--there have to be some recipes with a name like that--when I found this site. I believe the melon must be a variety of cucumis melo? Hope this info is useful to you.

Marcos Merhy Noya   Thu Mar 9 2006

Where I can find this plant ( cucumis agrestis ) in Brazil.

Enoch Achigan Dako   Thu Nov 9 2006

The native habitat of Cucumis melo var agrestis is obscure but is presumably West Africa where the species occur wild and widely. Asia is certainly a second centre of diversity of the subspecies agrestis.

Pied Melon   Wed Feb 20 2008

The "pie" in the name refers to the irregular light and dark colouring of the melon. (as in piebald horses)

Kathi   Sun Aug 10 2008

I live in Grimes County, Texas. I have a "mini watermelon" growing in my yard. It is watermelon green when it first starts growing, then after a while it turns to a deep yellow, but still retains the striping of a watermelon. When you cut it open it has the same look as a cucumber. Same coloring, same seed pattern. I have not noticed the seeds being hairy though. Any one know what this melon is? I haven't tried eating it yet, since I don't know what it is. But the rabbits and deer in my yard seem to love it.

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