Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Wild Melon


Citrullus lanatus var. citroides

This is what the "gourd" looks like. It's not a gourd afterall! It really is a melon, commonly called a wild watermelon, a citron melon, a preserving melon, or a stock melon. Supposedly old-timers would make preserves or pickle the flesh and rinds.

I didn't try eating it, but while cutting it it did smell like a melon. According to the University of Florida it is inedible in its raw state, and sometimes used as hog feed. There I also learned it so closely related to the domestic watermelon that the two will cross pollinate. I'm going to email the Sibley Nature Center in Midland (Odessa's sister city) to see if Mr. Burr Williams -- a walking treasure of West Texas information -- knows more about the natural history of this delightful find. Now that it's a melon, and edible in a fashion, I'm all the more intrigued!

12 comments:

Frances said...

How interesting, Debi, inside it looks somewhere between the different types of melon. Looking forward to hearing what more information you get about it. I wonder what preserves they made from it in the old days? I have tried some old recipes for unlikely things, and generally found out you would indeed have to be very hungry to eat them at all...

nelda said...

That is interesting. I have eaten watermelon (the edible kind) rind preserves and it was quite tasty, as I remember. Very sweet, so lots of sugar, I'm sure. I wonder if anyone makes homemade preserves and jelly anymore. I tried it a couple times, and although the results were fine, the process was tedious.

Hannah's Mom said...

How awesome is that!! Thank you for sharing with us. Hannah will be tickled to see what was in the inside of that funny looking gourd. :)

John (Copyright JMM 2007-2008) said...

What a lovely hue of green - sharp knife too to make such a straight cut.

At first I though it was an odd kiwi.

I left you an award a while back - you wil need to search for it. E is the only clue.

D.C. Confidential said...

Interesting. There's actually a variety of watermelon that is yellow. It's quite tasty and a lovely conversational piece when it's served.

What a great picture!

dianeclancy said...

Hi Debi,

This is a lovely photo!! It is very elegant.

Are you going to get a hog to feed the melon to? *joke* It is fun to hear these tidbits.

~ Diane Clancy
www.DianeClancy.com/blog
www.YourArtMarketing.com

Bev said...

How efficient the gourd plant must be to produce a melon-type fruit in the middle of a desert. Very interesting, only vaguely heard of these before.

deef said...

Hi Debi, i tagged you on my blog ;)) now you can play with us at Book Meme game (as Neda and Bobbie...)

Bobbie said...

How cool it is! You made me remember eating one of these when I was a girl. As I remember it was kind of blah and a little "weedy" tasting, a big disappointment for a girl looking for sweet melon. I had totally forgotten about it till now. Grandma Cates used to make watermelon rind preserves.

Sweet Irene said...

Americans always have more exotic types of fruits and vegetables than we northern Europeans do.

This melon looks very edible and you would want to sink your teeth right into it, but I suppose you may regret that.

The water melon is originally from Africa, I suppose that is why it is so popular in the South.

I had never eaten a melon until I came to the States and I love honeydew melon the best.

I like the way you have displayed this melon for the photograph. It is very pleasing to the eye.

Rima said...

I went back to the first portrait, becaue I remembered something in comments - ah, yes, here it is : "It does look like one of those tiny, flavourless watermelons they keep pushing at the store." hmmm... I wonder which brilliant mind came up with such an astute observation... :-D

Are you keeping the seeds? are those edible?

Joy Logan said...

You take the most unusual and interesting photo's. Love coming by and looking at them all.