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PlantFiles: Vine Peach, Orange Melon, Mango Melon, Lemon Melon, Apple Melon
Cucumis melo var. chito

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Family: Cucurbitaceae (koo-ker-bih-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Cucumis (KOO-koo-mis) (Info)
Species: melo var. chito

9 members have or want this plant for trade.

Category:
Vegetables

Height:
18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

Spacing:
4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

Hardiness:
Not Applicable

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Danger:
Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:
Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer
Blooms repeatedly

Foliage:
Herbaceous
Velvet/Fuzzy-Textured

Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
From seed; sow indoors before last frost
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds

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Profile:

4 positives
5 neutrals
2 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

RatingAuthorContent
Neutral tropicalSheri On Sep 6, 2013, tropicalSheri from Mezcales, Nayarit
Mexico wrote:

Two of these little melon/cucumber things took over the 4' x 8' raised bed, the compost cage next to it and smothered the lawn 8 feet out in all directions. The fruits don't taste good to me, so I sent in the goats to clean up. Too scratchy for them. Though one goat likes the very ripe fruit if I pick it and hand it to her. This morning we pulled out all the plants (ouch, go get the gloves), so I finally got curious and looked up what they were! They came as a mistake in a cucumber seed packet I bought last year because I know I didn't buy them, but I tossed the packet and don't remember from which company they were. I'm calling them "neutral" because the bed looked really nice and the neighbors were impressed with how well my "cucumbers" grew. No weeds, (smothered), no bug damage. Nice little yellow flowers and very cute fruit. They were the only vegetable left standing in the tropical heat, daily rain, bug population explosion season. Even the hot chiles and eggplant had given up.

Positive Charlie1950 On Jul 25, 2012, Charlie1950 from Tazewell, TN wrote:

First time growing from seed. It's true this doesn't have much of a taste. After finding information about this peach melon, did read in another find that you can add, rasberries , blackberries, and or strawberries to this fruit and make a jam or jelly out of it. Going to try the strawberries with the peach mellon in a couple of days Haven't found any recipes for this mellon but will use the strawberry recipe I have. Will let you know how it turns out.
By the way some people call this fruit a "plumgranny;. don't know why. It has grown well here in the acidic soil we have here in east Tn.

Positive Thebotanyboss On Jul 5, 2012, Thebotanyboss from Johnson City, TN wrote:

This plant is excellent. It grew well and very fast. I have noticed this rare heirloom grows best in bright sun. I have also realized that you can water it in shotglasses. One shotglass of water for a seedling, two for when the plant has at least three leaves. With a little care this plant can be a pleasure to garden.

Neutral petronius_ii On Feb 7, 2012, petronius_ii from Albuquerque, NM (Zone 7a) wrote:

I haven't grown this one and probably never will. I am writing this to counter the hysterical rant below from former davesgarden.com member "thegrowingbotanist."

By the way, I do NOT think Dave's Garden should delete the rant in question. I think they should let it stand as a sterling example of why you shouldn't believe everything you read on the internet.

Either this person was an internet troll seeking to spread misinformation for the purposes of his own self-amusement, or else was a badly misinformed person who had a genuine allergic reaction to a completely different species. Either way, "thegrowingbotanist" was no botanist.

The other species he mentioned as "crossing" with this melon are mostly in different families, and cannot possibly cross-pollinate with a member of the genus Cucumis. The notion that the common pocket melon might be a GMO is not credible, in fact almost laughably incredible.

THIS cultivar is nearly identical to the Queen Anne's Pocket Melon; see http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/32107/ for more information on that.

These melons are valued more for their fragrance than their use as food. Sometimes used for pickling, sometimes as a less expensive substitute for some of the apples in an apple pie, sometimes used the same as a cucumber for those who don't mind its taste, which is said to be bland and sometimes bitter. As is true of many cucumbers.

Allergies to melons are possible, but rare. Some, when they do occur, are linked to the presence of ragweed pollen on the surface of the fruits.

The really telltale comment in the "thegrowingbotanist" rant is the mention of latex. If this person really had an allergic reaction to a fruit that somehow smelled of latex, or came from a plant containing a latex-like substance, that was almost certainly a Sapodilla, also known as Chiku, with a somewhat similar-looking fruit that comes from an evergreen tree native to Latin America and the Caribbean, commonly grown in tropic regions worldwide, and valued for its timber, fruit, and latex-like sap, apparently the original source of chewing gum. See also http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/55935/ for more about this species.

Personally, I don't believe "thegrowingbotanist" had an allergic reaction to any plant. I think he or she was merely spreading misinformation for the fun of it.


Negative Eloy On Aug 5, 2011, Eloy from Lancaster, PA wrote:

I live in Pennsylvania, and this is my first year growing these from seed. I like the tropical mangoes that grow on trees, so I think that I will probably like these too. The seeds started off rather slowly, and I thought that they might not amount to anything of value, but then after just a few weeks they really took off like wild, very prolific. I can hardly wait to try them after they are ripe. I got the seeds online from Jung seed in WI. The website is, http://www.jungseed.com/dp.asp?pID=02689&c=115&p=Vine Peach ...

>>After growing and trying it, I was left with a disappointment. it was very bland and not anything to brag about. I'll stick with my homegrown muskmelons and tomatoes.

Positive mousepotato66 On Aug 30, 2010, mousepotato66 from Thornville, OH wrote:

I've grown half a dozen of these plants after being given an old packet of seed by my mother-in-law. They grow extremely well... prolific is a very good description! We must have some 50 melons in varying stages of ripeness right now! I'm not particularly fussy on the taste - I'm not sure what I expected, but they're a bit bland with a slight tartness, and there's not much flesh to them as the seeds take a lot of space.

Like everyone else whose comments I've read here and at other sites, it seems difficult to find suitable recipes to use them in - I'd LOVE to find one of the old pickling recipes but might just "have a go" by myself without following a stated recipe. I did just find this site, which has some interesting info and comments...

http://thegardenersrake.com/heirloom-seeds-vine-peach-a-hist...

I've given the vine peach a positive rating, purely because they're so pretty and do grow so well. I hope I can do something with them that does them justice. :)

Positive bsp On Aug 24, 2010, bsp from Willisburg, KY wrote:

We've used these melons in jelly and butter (as in apple butter) and curd (as in lemon curd). We substituted the melons for some of the crabapples/apples in the recipes; I don't recommend using only the melons, as the flavor is pretty bland on its own. We just started a batch of homemade wine from the melon; I think it might make an interesting white wine.
Our vines were very prolific. If the wine turns out well, we might plant again, but certainly not as many seeds as we did this year!

Neutral Trooper307 On Jun 23, 2010, Trooper307 from Montgomery, AL wrote:

I received these Vine Peach seeds as a purchase gift from Burpee. I decided to plant them since I had room and was just curious as to how they would look and taste. WELL... they grew they look great and smell great kind of like an overripe cantaloupe. The only problem is I do not know what to do with them. I have checked all my old food preserving books and nothing mentions vine peach or mango melons? I have cut one open and they are white inside like an overripe cucumber but have a bland taste. I have searched the web for and recipes that include either pickling them as I have read that the Chinese did years ago or finding a way to make some sort of Jelly out of the juice of many vine peaches. but since I cannot find anything on these good smelling fruits I do not feel comfortable preserving them the way I normally do cucumbers or cantaloupes. anyone have any ideas or was this just a way to make my garden smell great and look colorful but the fruits have no practical purpose and just need to be tossed out when overripe or starting to spoil?

Trooper

Negative thegrowingbotanist On Aug 21, 2009, thegrowingbotanist from Snellville, GA wrote:

Vine Peach is a vegetable. Scientist can't provide correct information on this plant because its been cross pollinated several times. It's not of its own kind they say. USA patient is still pending and It's known to cause allergic reaction, anaphylaxis and possible death in some people. They say If you personally are allergic to latex DO NOT TOUCH or attempt to go near this plant. Smelling it alone can cause a reaction because of the cross pollination problem this veg. is linked to potatoes, kiwi's, peanuts, bananas, tomato, apples & pea's, People with allergic reaction to grapes MUST NOT eat this veg. Grass, mugwort, birtch, ragweed pollen are also linked so be advised. Belongs to the gourd family and PH tests were found HIGHLY acidic and is said allergic reaction happen almost immediately. (urticaria, gastrointestinal symptoms, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea,Dermatitis, angioedema.) My personal experience with this veg. was a 3 day event. 20 min after ingesting my neck started to itch, full body sweat which turned into then full body tremors, In and out mental confusion, RANDOM muscle lock in four arms and wrist and vomiting with a break between white foam expelling from my nose and mouth and back to violently vomiting again all of this lasting for 2 hours. I could hear and understand my family but could not respond vocally when asked serious questions. Felt mentally paralyzing but alert & trapped at the same time. Trying to physical speak was very challenging and still couldn't communicate. slept for more then 9 hours after wards then woke up and found the foaming slowed down but didn't stop from the mouth. 2 days of spitting every 3 to 4 min. but no ill effect and had no urge to eat or drink. 3rd day I ate. after all that I research and read that this is an ornamental plant used for landscaping and in Asia they are picked only for there aromic smells. Some people eat them here in the states and are totally fine. Im not saying this is a bad plant. Friends who shared this to me had no ill reaction what so ever and found them quite yummy & still eat them. Im also not allergic to any of the following food I list above and still had a reaction. Go figure. It took a savvy computer wiz 2 hour to find just general REAL info on this plant. Which I still can't remember how to get to. Good luck if you plan on researching. I remember they also talked about the vine it self playing a major role in the improper balance in this veg. aiding to allergic reactions in people. Do what you wish but please be advised especial if your sensitive or have ANY allergic reactions of any kind. I also heard about the seed thing and Im beginning to wonder if they aren't GMO. It would make sense or unless it's so rare & special that it naturally made its own breed off of other grains veggies pollens and fruits??? that would explain why they can't say it's its own kind. One site said vine peach was tested positive for similar cell structures found in shrimp!!! YEAAAAHHHHHH. So unless you've never eaten it. I would just be cautious unless you find looking like a rat that just ate stric-9 some what glamorous all the power to ya :)

Neutral donicaben On Jul 11, 2008, donicaben from Ogdensburg, NY wrote:

I'm getting seeds for this as a purchase gift so I haven't had a chance to grow them yet. However, I would like to know...if DG says they don't come true to seed, how are people growing them?! Honestly, this is becoming a pet peeve. They didn't make the seeds in a lab! :-) There are so many "does not come true from seed" that just aren't true here. For a novice like me, I look pretty stupid when I tell people "Oh, that doesn't come true from seed!" just to have a horticulturist tell me otherwise. :-/ So, I would imagine that this does come true from seed. If you buy or receive the seeds as a gift, don't throw them out. :-)

Neutral PurplePansies On Jul 2, 2005, PurplePansies from Deal, NJ (Zone 7a) wrote:

Mango melon is in the same group as canteloupe .... it is said to be smaller (mango sized) and taste somewhat different. It is supposed to have a more mangoey flavor and texture. It is said to have naturalized in some parts of north america and I think is native to (north america) here. It so far has proved easy to grow in average garden soil in full sun. I am trellising it. It is supposed to respond well to trellising because the fruits are small and will not snap the (trellised) plant. I'll give a better rating when I harvest the fruits. :)

Regional...

This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Montgomery, Alabama
Sacramento, California
Snellville, Georgia
Willisburg, Kentucky
Harviell, Missouri
Thornville, Ohio
Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Tazewell, Tennessee
Santa Fe, Texas
Buckhannon, West Virginia



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