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Plant Informational Database

Horned Melon

Cucumis metuliferus

a.k.a. Kiwano (trademarked name by New Zealand growers), African Horned Cucumber

Bright orange, ovaloid fruit to 6-9", with numerous prominent spines. Flesh is bright green, watery, and with a slight sweetness.

Seed Availability

Seeds are now available at our seed store.


The horned melon is a vining annual that can be grown practically anywhere, provided a warm season. Plants can produce up to 100 fruits on a single vine. Provide support for the tendrils to grab. Leaves and stems are hairy.


Not frost hardy.

Growing Environment

Grow much like pumpkins or watermelons. Grow in full sun. Provide regular water.


By seeds.


Horned melons are generally eaten raw. Cut open the ripe fruit and sprinkle with sugar, which enhances the flavor considerably. The seeds are edible.

Native Range

Native to Africa. The horned melon is now grown commercially on all continents (aside from Antarctica).

Related Species

Cucumis metuliferus
Horned Melon
Cucumis zeyheri
South African Spiny Cucumber
Cucurbita ficifolia
Malabar Gourd
Cucurbita pepo
Spaghetti Squash
Cyclanthera explodens
Exploding Cucumber
Kedrostis leloja
Kedrostis leloja
Luffa cylindrica
Sicana odorifera