Horned Melon (Kiwano)

Origin - Africa

Days to ripen -

Rind - Oval, yellow/orange, spiny.   Flesh - Green with the seeds surrounded by pockets of flesh.  Fruit weight

An unusual melon, both in taste and looks. This close melon relative comes from Africa but was developed further in New Zealand where they trademarked the name 'Kiwano'. 

Although this melon is closer to cucumber in taste it is eaten as a sweet melon. It is only slightly sweet but can be sweetened further with a sprinkle with sugar or the flesh added to sweetened yogurt. The seeds are individually surrounded with a pocket of juicy flesh, similar to a pomegranate. It is not easy to eat with the seeds needing to be scooped out, but many people really like them.

Is it worth growing for more than novelty value? Only you can decide that, but it is labour intensive, both to grow and eat, and the taste is something you have to get used to.



 Grow this melon like a normal cucumber or sweet melon but you need to be aware of some of its characteristics.

This is a vigorous plant which will climb over everything although it starts of slowly. All parts of the plant are covered with tiny spines that get into your skin so you need to wear gloves when weeding and harvesting. The fruits also have very sharp spines.

You must pick up EVERY fruit at the end of harvest as any seeds will grow next spring and it can be an awful weed.