Off topic: Culinary

Cynthia Mueller
Tue, 10 Feb 2009 08:18:19 PST
Dear Jim,
I've grown the wild version of the Mexican Melothria for a number of
years.  It grows wild in Texas, and I thought the miniature,
cucumber-like vines were charming, short lived climbers, clambering on
their own here and there in the garden.  The fruits look like tiny
miniature green-striped watermelons, and the cucumber fragrance is very
distinct.  They can become somewhat pest-y when they become entangled in
your garden perennials.  Several seed companies have been offering the
improved version in the last two or three years.
Come to think of it, they are not really so short-lived, just cut down
by frosts in the fall.  No telling how long they could live in a warmer
environment.  No pests, and no insects seem to be eating their leaves. 
-Cynthia Mueller

>>> "Jim McKenney" <> 2/10/2009 9:36 AM >>>
I don't have any experience of the plant to share, but I've also
this item in seed catalogs this year. Territorial Seed Company offers
it as
Mexican Sour Gherkin.

Those Mexican Sour Gherkins look interesting, but what really got my
attention is one of its apparent relatives: the Jung Seed Co if
something they call Deco-Mix Ornamental Cucumber (not for food purposes
say). The photo in the catalog shows round and oval fruits in several
Some are smooth, some are covered with spines, some green, some striped
yellow orange and white.  No botanical name is given. 

Does anyone grow the squirting cucumber, Ecballium elaterium? 

And gardening books from the early twentieth century sometimes
two other forgotten curcurbits: Echinocystis lobata and Sicyos
From the photo I know best, Echinocystis seems to have real ornamental
(although it is apparently weedy in some areas).  

Now I wonder, are those Deco-mix Ornamental Cucumbers Echinocystis? 

Jim McKenney 
Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, 39.03871º North, 77.09829º West, USDA
7, where things are starting to pop. 
My Virtual Maryland Garden ( )

Webmaster Potomac Valley Chapter, NARGS 
Editor PVC Bulletin (

Webmaster Potomac Lily Society ( )

pbs mailing list

More information about the pbs mailing list