Cucamelon, Mexican Sour Cucumber, Guadeloupe Cucumber, Creeping Cucumber, Mouse Melon

Melothria scabra

Family: Cucurbitaceae (koo-ker-bih-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Melothria (mel-OH-three-uh) (Info)
Species: scabra (SKAY-bruh) (Info)




Vines and Climbers

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Unknown - Tell us

Foliage Color:

Medium Green


6-12 in. (15-30 cm)


15-18 in. (38-45 cm)


Not Applicable

Where to Grow:

Can be grown as an annual



Bloom Color:

Bright Yellow

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:

Under 1"

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Other details:

This Plant is Least Concern (LC)

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Unblemished fruit must be significantly overripe before harvesting seed; clean and dry seeds


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Green Cove Springs, Florida

Lakeland, Florida

Zephyrhills, Florida

Carrollton, Georgia

Evergreen Park, Illinois

Sciota, Illinois

Zachary, Louisiana

Alfred, Maine

Assonet, Massachusetts

Woburn, Massachusetts

Saint Paul, Minnesota

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Slingerlands, New York

Fayetteville, North Carolina

Hillsborough, North Carolina

Conneaut, Ohio

Checotah, Oklahoma

Tionesta, Pennsylvania

Fort Worth, Texas

Syracuse, Utah

Dungannon, Virginia

Washougal, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jul 10, 2020, goincrazyntn from Jackson, TN wrote:

They grow great here in W TN. Thin them out if you do not want them to over grow the area you want them in


On Oct 15, 2018, SummerStorm93 from Hillsborough, NC (Zone 7b) wrote:

... Why would anyone voluntarily put this in their garden? It grows like a weed because it is a weed. An edible one, sure, but only useful if you can keep it under control. Growing rampant, it forms a dense layer of vines and leaves that choke out anything underneath (except, naturally, grass). I don't know how it got into my yard, but I've been fighting an ongoing battle ever since, holding onto my vegetable and flower beds by the skin of my teeth. Basically, if I spot a seedling, I pull it on the spot, even if I'm running out the door late for something. Mex cucumber grows so fast it often seems as though I just turned my back for a minute and there it is again. Remember the Weeping Angels? This plant is the Weeping Angels crossed with the Triffids.


On Feb 29, 2016, tjfemrite from Eugene, OR wrote:

Unlike most melons the seeds of the Mouse Melon are slow to germinate. Up to 3 weeks. Once established it grows much like a "weed" without the copious water requirements of true melons. It is most suited to trellising or running on a fence and will grow best in sun.
This is a tender perennial. After the last of the fruit is harvested and the leaves begin to turn in the late fall you should lift the radish like tuber and store it in loose, slightly damp peat in the garage for the winter.
Plant the tubers back out in spring after the soil has warmed.
What an excellent little curiosity plant.
The fruits are most appealing if you leave them to ripen further for a bit after harvesting. They sweeten right up.


On Aug 22, 2014, KittyWittyKat from Saint Paul, MN (Zone 4b) wrote:

Seems critters and birds (trapped in a rodent trap with the mini melon as bait) adore the fruit. Will be growing it in my fenced garden from now on.


On Apr 26, 2014, CAGast from Sciota, IL wrote:

Started growing this 2 years ago having purchased the seeds as a curiosity from Terrior Seeds. Grew them in a square foot garden where they fairly well took over the 4'x8' patch. Had to trellis them the next year! Produced like mad up until first frost last year. My daughters love eating them right off the vine. Native miner bees in the area seem to love them. They will grow all over the place and your trellises may need supports to hold up dense vines loaded with fruit. Does well here in West Central IL (5a). Terrior Seeds has a pickling recipe for them. Going to try it this year.


On Nov 20, 2013, PammiePi from Green Cove Springs, FL wrote:

These grow wild in my side-yard, & the butterflies love the little blooms! The vine isn't at all "invasive" nor does it take over the other plants. Mine look more like tiny cucumbers rather than watermelons, but taste just like very fresh cucumbers only slightly tangy. I graze on them every morning. :)


On Nov 23, 2012, legallyheidi from Griffin, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:

It worked well here...however, I did wait until summer to plant it, so I only ended up with a handful of them. The vine is still alive, and it's nearly December, so I still have a little hope :)


On May 4, 2012, BajaBlue from Rancho Santa Rita, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

An interesting cucurbit bearing grape-sized fruits with the flavor of a cucumber.

Native to portions of Mexico, the fruit is also notable for looking much like a miniature watermelon. Fruits can be eaten fresh and have a sour aftertaste. Once found in cultivation, but has become uncommon in recent years.


On Feb 10, 2012, lisamarie2554 from Checotah, OK wrote:

I am so glad to finaly know what this plant is. I chose positive because the tiny "melons" are to cute. Plus it covered my chain link fence and turned it into a kind of privacy fence.


On Oct 23, 2011, BotanicalBoi from Carrollton, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

I love these beautiful plants! The do grow wild in my yard. The trailing habbit is really nice and wildlife LOVE the cukes. They can be used in salads for a different flavor. Use in moderation though because too many will cause diareaha. For me, they begin leafing and growing in the early fall.


On Aug 24, 2008, teesa from Conneaut, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

Started these plants in June in my area, NE Ohio. I planted 5. They started slow but are really putting out fruit now. I have noticed that the ones I am growing on cages do not fruit nearly as much as the vine on the ground. I really like the fruit, tastes like cucumber with a tiny bit of sour. Looks like baby watermelons. I get about 25 fruits every day, perfect for salad topper. I will include these in my garden from now on.


On Aug 21, 2008, RobBanks from Washougal, WA wrote:

Purchased a packet of 20 seeds. Started indoors in mid-spring. Plants start out very slowly, then put on rapid growth as they get some leaves and the weather warms. I'm growing three to four plants each in large pots set next to a fence for climbing.

Beautiful, dark green ivy-like foliage, and adorable tiny cukes. They taste like a cucumber, and then there's a little burst of not unpleasant sourness.


On Feb 27, 2007, berrygirl from Braselton, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:

SSE describs the 1-2" fruits as sweet and sour all at the same time, as if they've already been pickled.


On Aug 8, 2006, County_agent from Tionesta, PA (Zone 5a) wrote:

I grew this interesting plant this summer (2006) and am pleased with it. It has an abundance of delicate vines with plenty of tendrils. Blooms are tiny, yellow, and the fruit set easily and hang like little melons.

It would make a terrific hanging basket as long as it's kept moist. Foliage is attractive. Fruits are crunchy and like a small bite of cucumber with a hint of sourness. About the size of a grape, the plant is setting plenty of fruit during the hottest summer we've had in NW PA.

Might be a choking hazard for a small child if eaten whole.

I'll grow it again if I can master the seed saving...

Nancy the County_agent


On Oct 21, 2005, winter_unfazed from Rural Webster County, MO (Zone 6a) wrote:

Starts out slow then grows extremely fast. Vine is very thin. Unique among cucurbits in that female flowers appear before male flowers, not the reverse. The vines can fill out a fence.


On Sep 2, 2005, Farmerdill from Augusta, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:

Underwood Gardens,offers this description: "80 days vine to 5 ft. Tiny, 1 x .5 in. light-green fruits with darker mottling look like watermelons for a doll house. The flesh is white, crisp, and slightly acidic. It is said that the missing crunch can make people go off diets. This tiny treasure can match the crunch of pretzels and chips - and may truly help dieters! A conversation piece in salads, pickles and in the garden, where the vine is attractive enough for hanging baskets."


On Aug 20, 2004, Farmerdill from Augusta, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:

Small cucumber-like fruit are shaped like baby watermelons. They are good added to salads or can be pickled. They have a cucumber-like taste with a touch of lemon. The ornamental vines have tiny leaves and flowers and are perfect for the cottage garden. Very unique and fun for kids. Huge yields.