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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Friday - May 02, 2008

From: Honolulu, HI
Region: Hawaii
Topic: Vines
Title: Identification of vine with white flower and \
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have a vine intruding from my neighbors yard that has small white blooms on them (similar to morning glories) and on the stem of the flower below the bloom, a "tiny watermelon" is growing..... It is green with light stripes. I was wondering if anyone knew what the name of it was? And if so, are the 'watermelons' fit to eat? Thanks so much in advance

ANSWER:

Your description of the fruit sounds like something in the Family Cucurbitaceae (Cucumber Family). Here is a list of members of that family that have been reported in Hawaii. Take a look at Coccinea grandis, especially these images that occur on Google.  According to this website the fruit of C. grandis is used in curries and other Indian dishes. If you don't see the plant you describe in any of these pictures, send us a photo and we'll try to identify it from its image. The instructions for submitting photos can be found on the Ask Mr. Smarty Plants page in the lower right corner under "Plant Identification."

 

 

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