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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

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Saturday - November 22, 2014

From: Floresville, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Edible Plants, Poisonous Plants, Vines
Title: Is the fruit of Melothria pendula edible?
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Is the fruit of Melothria pendula edible?

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants would not advise eating the fruit of Melothria pendula (Guadeloupe cucumber).  Here is what Delena Tull says in Edible and Useful Plants of the Southwest:  Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona:

"Consider wild gourds not listed here to be potentially toxic.  The gourds of  Melothria species (a tiny green cucumberlike fruit) and of balsam apple, Momordica species (a yellow or orange spiny fruit), have caused poisoning (Ellis 1978)."

According to the North Carolina State Plant Database it is of low toxicity, but it is a strong laxative causing diarrhea.

You will find, however, that there are those who have eaten them and claim the pale green ones are fine to eat or put in salads.  The ripe ones are the potential troublemakers.  You can read about this at Eat the Weeds by Green Deane.

 

From the Image Gallery


Guadeloupe cucumber
Melothria pendula

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