Cucumis melo chito
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Common Name: Orange Melon
Cucumis melo chito is a Annual Climber up to 1.50 metres tall.
It has edible and medicinal uses.
The sprouting seed produces a toxic substance in its embryo[
Probably native of Asia, though it has been in cultivation for so long its native habitat is obscure
Derived through cultivation, it is not known in a truly wild location though it sometimes escapes from cultivation and becomes naturalized in fields and waste places.
Requires a rich, well-drained moisture retentive soil and a warm, very sunny position[
A frost-tender annual plant, the orange melon is sometimes cultivated in gardens and commercially, especially in warmer climates than Britain, for its edible fruit. Some varieties may succeed outdoors in Britain in hot summers but in general it is best to grow melons under protection in this country[
Grows well with corn and sunflowers but dislikes potatoes[
]. The weeds fat hen and sow thistle improve the growth and cropping of melons[
Fruit - raw or cooked[
]. About the size of an orange, it is yellow or greeny-yellow when ripe with a thin leathery skin. Whilst it can be peeled and eaten raw, it is more often made into pies, preserves, marmalades etc[
]. Unripe fruits are sometimes pickled whole[
Seed - raw[
]. Rich in oil with a nutty flavour but very fiddly to use because the seed is small and covered with a fibrous coat[
]. The seed contains between 12.5 - 39.1% oil[
An edible oil is obtained from the seed[
The fruits can be used as a cooling light cleanser or moisturiser for the skin[
]. They are also used as a first aid treatment for burns and abrasions[
The flowers are expectorant and emetic[
The fruit is stomachic[
The seed is antitussive, digestive, febrifuge and vermifuge[
]. When used as a vermifuge, the whole seed complete with the seed coat is ground into a fine flour, then made into an emulsion with water and eaten. It is then necessary to take a purge in order to expel the tapeworms or other parasites from the body[
The root is diuretic and emetic[
Seed - sow early to mid spring in a greenhouse in a rich soil. Germination should take place within 2 weeks. Sow 2 or 3 seeds per pot and thin out to the best plant. Grow them on fast and plant out after the last expected frosts, giving them cloche or frame protection for at least their first few weeks if you are trying them outdoors.