Melothria scabra

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Melothria scabra
Melothria scabra fruit.jpg
Vine with fruit
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Cucurbitales
Family: Cucurbitaceae
Genus: Melothria
M. scabra
Binomial name
Melothria scabra

Melothria scabra, also known as the cucamelon, is a vine grown for its edible fruit. Fruits are about the size of grapes and taste like cucumbers with a tinge of sourness. Vernacular names include mouse melon, Mexican sour gherkin, cucamelon, Mexican miniature watermelon, Mexican sour cucumber and pepquinos.[1][2][3]

This plant is native to Mexico and Central America,[3] where it is called sandita : 'little watermelon', from sandía : 'watermelon'. It is believed to have been a domesticated crop before Western colonization of the Americas began.


The genus name Melothria is from Ancient Greek μηλοθρων : mēlothrōn 'kind of white grape' in reference to small grapevine fruits born by the genus. The specific name scabra means 'rough, scabby.


Melothria scabra female flower

These plants are slow-growing when they are establishing themselves, but can eventually grow up to 3 metres (9.8 ft) under proper conditions. They are drought resistant and pest-resistant relative to other cucumbers.[4] Similar to the cucumber, these plants are monoecious, producing both male and female flowers on the same plant. These plants can pollinate themselves, but the individual flowers are not self-fertile. Flowers are small and yellow, about four millimeters in diameter. Fruits develop at the base of the female flower.


  1. ^ "Pepquinos – World's Smallest Watermelons". 13 July 2011. Retrieved 25 June 2016.
  2. ^ "'Micro melons' 20 times smaller than regular size". The Daily Telegraph. 13 May 2009. Retrieved 25 June 2016.
  3. ^ a b William Woys Weaver (2005). "Mouse Melons". Mother Earth News. Archived from the original on 2013-07-29. Retrieved 2013-07-24.
  4. ^ Spurrier, Jeff (2013-05-14). "Mouse melon, a.k.a. Mexican gherkin: Tiny fruit is big on cute". LA Times.

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