Horned Melon Facts

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Horned Melon or Cucumis Metuliferus is orange colored fruit naturally found in Africa which is now cultivated in Newzealand, Australia, Kenya, Newzealad, France and Israel. Other common names include jelly melon, métulon (France), and the trademarked names Kiwano (New Zealand), Horn Gurke (German) and Melano (Israel)

Facts about Horned Melon (Kiwano Melon)

Name Horned Melon
Scientific Name Cucumis Metuliferus
Common/English Name African cucumber, African horned cucumber, African horned melon, Bitter wild cucumber, Blowfish fruit, English tomato, Hedged gourd, Horned cucumber, Horned gourd,  Horned melon, Horny ucumber, Jelly melon, Kiwano, Melano, Metulon, Spiked pears, Spiny cucumber
Name in Other Languages Metulon (French), Rooi-agurkie, Rooikomkommer (Afr.), Mokapana (Tswana) more>>
History and origin Kiwano grows naturally in the tropical and subtropical sub-Saharan regions of Africa, stretching from Senegal to Somalia and South Africa. It has also been found in Yemen. Now It is primarily cultivated in California, Mississippi, Chile, Australia, and New Zealand, where it was introduced in the 1930s.
Fruit shape & size Similar size in shape to a medium papaya or large pear, slightly oval in shape. It has horn-like spines, hence the name became “horned melon”

Normal size is about 8-10 cm long and 4-5 cm in diameter

Fruit weight About 209g
Fruit color
  • Young fruit: is dark green with mottled light green spots.
  • Ripe fruit: yellow-orange or golden color
Flesh color Juicy, green and translucent and contains a lot of seeds covered in a gelatin-like substance.
Fruit peel Fruit peel
Flavor/aroma Tart flavor
Fruit Taste sweet and tart  Its taste has been compared to a combination of cucumber and zucchini or a combination of banana, cucumber and lemon
Season Available during the summer season
Major Nutritions Vitamin C (13.67%), Vitamin B6 (11.31%), Zinc (10.18%),  Vitamin B5 (8.52%), Vitamin B3 (8.23%), Potassium (6.11%), Copper (5.22%), Thaimin (4.83%)
Calories in 1cup (233 gm) 103 Kcal
It is said that
  • Whole fruit of ripe Horned Melon is eaten and is believed to be not only nutritious but has medicinal properties as well. Peoples in Botswana believe it is good for diabetic patients.
  • Leaves of the Horned Melon are also tasty and nutritious. Leaves are cooked as spinach or mixed with maize meal.
  • It is believed that the skin of the Horned Melon is very rich in vitamin C and fiber.
  • The fruit contains saponin – a kind of oily glycoside that foams freely when shaken with water.
  • According to Roodt (1998) Shona tribe in the Okavango area, Horned Melon root extract is used to relief from the pain after childbirth.
  • It is also said that the boiled root of Horned Melon is effective remedies of Gonorrhea.
  • Spiritual beliefs: Tribes living in the Okavango believe that one can prevent ghosts or evil spirits from entering one’s house by applying Paste of the Horned Melon root mixed with fat on the body
  • Horned Melon tastes better while it is young and green, which may have excessive level of compound which is not edible it may cause stomach cramp, headaches and fever. In ripe fruit this compound will not present and ready to eat.
  • The spines in the outer peel of this fruit are slightly sharp, be careful while handle.
How to Eat
  • Make delicious juice and drink it
  • Cut melon in two pieces, sprinkled some salt or sugar which enhance the flavor and scooped out of the shell with a spoon and have delicious melon.
  • Use it as fruit salad.






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