Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

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.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

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

More Poisonous Plants Questions

Problems with shrubs by pool in Bethesda, MD
February 24, 2012 - We are trying to grow Otto Luyken Laurels by a pool and doing okay, some brown spots on leaves, but not many. Also have Arbivatea beside the pool about 3 feet from the edge of the pool. They have a l...
view the full question and answer

Can animals eat bottlebrush buckeye without being poisoned?
June 13, 2013 - Can deer, bear and wild turkey and squirrels eat the nuts and leaves from the bottlebrush buckeye shrub without being posioned by it.
view the full question and answer

Non-Toxic Flowering Vine for Sunny Trellis in California
March 12, 2015 - I am looking for a flowering trellis plant that is non-toxic to my dog, will grow in the California area that I live in, and will be in full sun.
view the full question and answer

Butterfly Garden, non-poisonous to Dogs, in Taylor MI
March 27, 2014 - I have a small fenced yard with a patio that my dogs have free access to. I would like to create a butterfly garden and add other plants that are non toxic to my dachshunds. Any suggestions. I am f...
view the full question and answer

Are buckbrush (coralberry) berries poisonous?
December 20, 2011 - Are the berries on buckbrush (Symphoricarpos orbiculatus) poisonous to humans?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.