Can anyone identify this mystery fruit?

Posted by
|

The following request for assistance was received from Sally James of the Sydney Food Fairness Alliance. She passes the request on for a friend whose message follows Sally's below.

If anyone can identify the thing, could you respond in the 'Comments' box below.

I recall seeing a vine of these fruit growing on the fence at Glovers Community Garden in the 1990s but cannot recall their name.

Thanks...

...Russ Grayson.

SALLY WRITES:

Hi gardeners...

I am passing on this request form a friend. Any ideas??

It looks as though someone has GMO'd a  pumpkin

Thanks.
Sally

PIPPA WRITES:

Hi everyone,

I've just taken a photo of a mysterious pumpkin/zucchini/squash??? that I found growing in my garden.

Does anyone know what it is?  This is a big one and a little one.  The leaves are scratchy and pumpkin-like.

Mystery vegetable.

Mystery vegetable.

Comments

  1. Dick Copeman

    May 7, 2010

    It looks to ne like a type of cucumber, probably one of two types of ‘Russian’ cucumber.

    Cut it open and see if it has cucumber like flesh and seeds. Quite safe to eat but the skin is thick and bitter from memory unless you get them very young.

  2. Campbell

    May 7, 2010

    Cool lookin’ vegie! Looks like it’s a Horned Melon: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horned_melon

    Similar image at: http://www.jungleseeds.com/images/HornedMelon.jpg

    From Wikipedia:

    In Zimbabwe, this cucumber is called ‘gaka’ or ‘gakachika’ and it is primarily used as a fruit-snack, salad and rarely for decoration. It is eaten young, mature green or when ripe – bright yellow/orange (eaten at any stage of its development). It grows naturally in the fields and also in the bush. However, some people leave some to rot in the fields for next summer seeds/plants. Its taste has been compared to a combination of cucumber and zucchini[1] or a combination of banana, cucumber and lemon.[2] Some eat the peeling as well. It has a replica that does not have horns, but looks and tastes similar. The seeds are covered in a gelatin-like substance. The skin is very rich in vitamin c and fiber. Before being eaten, adding a small amount of salt or sugar can increase the flavor.

  3. Pat Scott

    May 7, 2010

    The horned melon (Cucumis metuliferus), also called African horned cucumber or melon, jelly melon, hedged gourd, English tomato, melano, or kiwano. Check Wikipedia

  4. Pat Scott

    May 7, 2010

    The horned melon (Cucumis metuliferus), also called African horned cucumber or melon, jelly melon, hedged gourd, English tomato, melano, or kiwano. Check Wikipedia

  5. Profile photo of

    media

    May 7, 2010

    Alasdair says:

    Its called an African Horned cucumber.

    Has large seeds loved by our ducks , but not very interesting for human
    consumption

    Regards
    Alasdair

  6. alasdair stuart

    May 7, 2010

    Its called an African Horned cucumber.
    Has large seeds loved by our ducks , but not very interesting for human
    consumption – too watery for my taste – but grows very well in Sydney

  7. Profile photo of

    media

    May 7, 2010

    Julie Firth says:
    Looks like a Kiwano to me..
    An african horny cucumber..

    Julie Firth
    Drylands Permaculture Nursery/Research Farm
    T/as Yilgarn Traders
    333 David Rd, Waggrakine
    Geraldton, W.A. 6530
    Tel. +61 (0) 899 381 628
    http://www.permaculturenursery.com.au
    __________________________________

  8. Zanni

    May 8, 2010

    Can confirm it’s the cucumber mentioned above… we grew an insane amount of them one year in Nth NSW – gave them away, sold them, pickled them, etc… in the end we used them as missiles to help keep possums off the garden…

  9. Profile photo of

    media

    May 11, 2010

    Terry Leahy says:

    Hi,
    I have seen it before.

    I think it is a sort of bitter cucumber that is eaten in Indonesia,

    Terry

  10. toni baloney

    June 17, 2010

    if you don’t like EATing it as you might be exPECTing a cucumber to be, try juicing it (with other veges/fruits) – it’s pretty good that way, kind of as a “filler”….

  11. Lilli

    October 31, 2010

    Delicious in salads as a cucumber. It appears in our garden year after year and grows straight after normal cucumbers have disappeared. Has a more sour taste then normal cucumbers. I love to eat it. Can be also eaten as a snack with a spoon.

  12. Dan

    November 12, 2010

    We used to call it a Prickly Cucumber when we had a vine as kids in Queensland. Cucumis Metuliferus. Cut in half with a little salt and sugar makes a tasty snack.

  13. Marisa

    April 5, 2011

    Where can I get this cucumber in Australia??? I am 9 weeks pregnant and craving it. Help????

  14. Ian Hayter

    June 25, 2016

    Never seen them yellow. I have only seen them looking like the one in the right photo. We had them growing wild across the road in northern NSW as a child and we called them prickly cucumbers. Always peeled them, more seeds than other cucumbers and more tangy than other cucumbers. Great eaten peeled and complete. Been looking for the name they are now known by myself. Best cucumbers ever

  15. Deo

    August 30, 2016

    Hi that fruit is African horned cucumber the best and i am after the seeds has any one get then so i can have some please.

Add a comment

MEMBERSHIP LOGIN

Connect with us

UPCOMING MEMBER EVENTS