Mouse Melon Seed
USDA Zones: 9 - 11
Height: 6 - 12 inches
Bloom Season: Late spring to mid summer
Bloom Color: Yellow
Environment: Full sun
Soil Type: Neutral, well drained, loamy soil
Latin Name: Melothria Scabra
Temperature: 70 - 75F
Average Germ Time: 10 - 14 days
Light Required: No
Depth: 1/4 inch
Sowing Rate: 2 - 3 seeds per plant
Moisture: Keep seeds moist until germination
Plant Spacing: 15 - 18 inches
Mouse Melon (Melothria Scabra) - If you are looking for an unusual fruit known as a cucurbit, then Melothria scabra fits that bill. This herbaceous climber in the cucumber family is grown for its tiny edible fruit that looks just like a miniature striped watermelon. This unusual plant has been given many different common names including: mouse melon, Mexican sour gherkin, Mexican sour cucumber and cucumelon. No matter what name you want to call this edible fruit, it truly is unusual.
The plants look very similar to cucumber plants, but just slightly smaller in size. Melothria Scabra is a fast-growing tender tropical perennial, it is easily grown as an annual in temperate climates.
The edible small melons can be eaten raw, used in stir fries, or pickled like cucumbers. The young, tender fruits are best for eating raw, while the older fruits with more developed seeds are better for pickling. Mouse melon is as easy to grow as regular cucumbers and does best in humus-rich, well-drained soil in full sun. Start the seeds indoors 4-6 weeks before the average last frost and plant outside 9-12 inches apart at the same time regular cucumbers would be planted, or direct sow after last frost. Most seeds should germinate within 10 days when temperatures are around 70F and the seeds are kept continually moist.