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15 seeds

Cultivation: easy

Seed Saving: beginner

Kiwano (Cucumis metulliferus)

  • Kiwano (Cucumis metulliferus): also known as horned melon, this curbitacea has been cultivated for some time in Italy and it is currently becoming more and more popular. It is well acclimatized to our latitude, it is easy to grow and very productive.The fruits have an ovoid shape and are covered with thorns, its jelly pulp holds numerous seeds, it has an exotic, half-sweet, half-acid, taste. It is really good! It can be eaten as any other fruit, just cut it and dip a spoon in it, or it can be used in smoothies, salads, and COCKTAILS! The plant is macrothermal, it doesn't tolerate cold climates or too much weather variation; it requires the temperature to be constantly above 10°C during germination phase. On the other hand, it tolerates water stress well, it's not particularly demanding, and it's resistant to fungal diseases. It has a climbing habit, hence it is necessary to provide support; it also does well in pots, if grown in the balcony, the beautiful orange fruits of particular shape, will provide a really nice view so it is highly ornamental. Kiwanos can be consumed immediately after picking them from the plant.

  • The kiwano melon is also great from a nutritional point of view. Actually, it is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, extremely beneficial substances for the body. A single kiwano melon (209 grams) provides the following nutrients:

    • Calories: 92
    • Carbohydrates: 16 grams
    • Protein: 3.7 grams
    • Fat: 2.6 grams
    • Vitamin C: 18% of Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
    • Vitamin A: 6% of RDI
    • Vitamin B6: 7% of RDI
    • Magnesium: 21% of the RDI
    • Iron: 13% of RDI
    • Phosphorus: 8% of RDI
    • Zinc: 7% of RDI
    • Potassium: 5% of RDI
    • Calcium: 3% of RDI

    It is mainly composed of water, relatively low in calories, carbohydrates, and fat.About 16% of its calories come from protein, which is a good amount compared to other fruits. This unique nutrient distribution makes Kiwano suitable for a healthy lifestyle, and eating habits.


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