Seed Saving: beginner
Canton Wax Giant Melon (Benincasa hispida)
Canton Wax Giant Melon (Benincasa hispida): heirloom, interesting cucurbitacea from China, it is called both, Winter Melon and Wax Gourd. It is actually completely different in genus and species from both.
Mainly used in Indochina as part of every-day dishes. The fruit can reach up to 20 kg, the pulp is crunchy and provides a sensation of freshness; The skin is thin and holds a beautiful dark-green colour, it is also kind of leathery which allows the Benincasa to be kept even several months after harvest.
The plant has climbing habit, it could be beneficial to provide the fruits with support to stop them from falling prematurely. It is not very tolerant to cold, the emergence phase and the first period of growth must happen when you are sure the temperature will not have sudden drops. It prefers rich soil and full sun exposure.
The Benincasa is quite rare in Italy, therefore there are no problems of hybridization to save the seeds.