Monday, August 18, 2014

Bitter Melon Vine

I've got vines covering most fences and walls except for this small section of cyclone fence near the front. I was surprised when this wild vine popped up a little while ago.  It's very delicate with yellow flowers so I let it go to see how it would do. I missed the melon part because it was green and hidden in the vine.  When they get ripe they turn gold and pop open with seeds.  I'll look closer in the coming weeks to try to follow the whole process.  The seeds look like pomegranate seeds or granada. Hugo said they used to eat the whole fruit when they are young or the seeds which he calls granada.  Lots of these vines in the mountains.

Wild Bitter Melon Momordica charantia
A tropical vine with long, slender shoots, deeply lobed leaves and warty, oblong fruits that are edible when young and green but turn very bitter when mature and yellow. When fully ripe, the fruits break open to reveal seeds covered in soft, bright red and edible, sweet pulp. The plant has a wide array of medicinal properties and studies show that it could be effective against diabetes, cancer, HIV and malaria.

Flower and melon

Granada seeds

Saw the actual melon today and had to add it
I've seen pictures of much larger varieties but this is mine


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The construction of the house finished in April 2011 and I'm pretty much settled in. As of March 2014 I'm in preparation for rain mode for this coming summer. That includes sealing and painting things and dealing with drainage issues from last year.

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