Creeping Cucumber

creeping cucumber vineCreeping Cucumber (Melothria pendula) is a common vine found in Florida.  The fruit of the Creeping Cucumber is a tiny, delicious, cucumber-flavored fruit that looks like little green watermelon when young but turns a dark purple/black when ripe.  The green fruits will have spots of color on them that disappears when the turn dark.  Only eat the green fruit, the ripe dark fruit is a powerful laxative.

I found this vine growing on a palm tree, but they will grow anywhere they can get enough water.  Creeping Cucumber usually shows up in spring and dies back in cold weather, provided we get any cold weather in Florida.

The unripe, light-green fruit is eaten raw without peeling and really does taste just like a cucumber.  Use Creeping Cucumber just like your would any other cucumber, it is great in a salad or just a snack.

creeping cucumber fruitAgain, this is an important warning, the ripe (purple/black) fruit is a powerful laxative. Its bowel-purging effects hits rapidly and will be uncontrollable.  You will not make it home with your dignity.

The Creeping Cucumber is a vine. Its leaves are usually dark green with 3 to 5 lobes.  The vine will have curly-cue tendrils to help grasp onto other plants for support as it climbs.  The flowers of the Creeping Cucumber are yellow and very small with 5 petals.

The fruit pictured here is too ripe, I did not eat any. Look for the lighter green fruit to eat.

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