seeds of Melothria scabra, Mexican sour gherkin

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Melothria scabra Samen
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Melothria scabra, also called Mexican sour gherkin, is a vine species that belongs to the family Cucurbitaceae. Synonyms include Melothria donell-smithii var. hirtella and Melothria donnell-smithii var. rotundifolia. Other common names for the plant include mouse melon, Mexican miniature watermelon, and cucamelon. The origins of the plant lie in Mexico and Central America. A widely held view is that the plants were already domestic before men from the west discovered the Americas. Most of cultivation of the plant done today happens in Mexico, Central America, The United States and England. Melothria scabra is a fast-growing plant that can grow to a height of between 1 and 1.5 metres. The plant produces both male and female flowers which are yellow, small and 4 mm wide. Melothria scabra can either self-pollinate or achieve pollination through help from insects. It must be mentioned, however, that individual flowers can’t pollinate themselves. The fruits are small, oblong and have a green, glabrous surface with white stripes. Each fruit is 2 to 3 cm long and has numerous seeds. The fruits of Melothria scabra are edible and can be eaten either raw or cooked. The skin and the seeds are also edible. The fruits are an ideal choice for pickling and making salsas. That is of course when the fruits are not being used to flavour martinis and make martini garnish. Alternatively, the fruits can be fried in garlic and olive oil and served as a side dish. Melothria scabra grows best in fertile, moist and well-drained soils that preferably have a top layer of hummus. The plant also prefers plenty of direct sunlight in order to grow well. The advantage of growing Melothria scabra is that not only does it deliver a high yield of fruit, it’s also resistant to most pests. It takes between 65 and 75 days for the plant to grow and bear fruit.
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