Botanical Name: Solanum muricatum
Species: S. muricatum
Solanum guatemalense Hort.
Solanum hebephorum Dunal
Solanum longifolium Sessé & Moc.
Solanum melaniferum Moric. ex Dunal
Solanum pedunculatum Roem. & Schult.
Solanum saccianum Naudin
Solanum saccianum Carrière & André
Common Names: Melon Pear, Tree melon, Bush melon, Melon and Mellow fruit, Pepino Dulce, Pepino, Melon Shrub, Pear Mellon
Name in Other Languages:
Chinese: Xiang gua quie
Danish: Pepino, melonpaere
Dutch: Pepino, appelmeloen, meloen peer, peermeloen
English: Peruvian pepino, Melon-pear, mataserrano, melon shrub, pear melon, pepino, sweet cucumber, pepino dulce, tree melon, sweet pepino, mellowfruit
Melon Pear is presumed to be native to the temperate Andean regions of Colombia, Peru and Chile though it is not known in the wild and the details of its domestication are unknown. The pepino is a domesticated native of the Andes.
Plant:………..CLICK & SEE
Melon Pear is a semi-dense, unarmed, short-lived, evergreen sub-shrub that grows about 1-2 meters tall. The plant is found growing in sunny or semi-shaded, frost-free location, sheltered from strong winds. The plant does best in a fertile (but not too fertile), free draining, neutral soil. It is not as tolerant of salinity as the tomato. If the soil is too fertile fruit production will suffer due to excess vegetative growth. The plant has fibrous root system. The bright green leaves are sparsely covered with very small hairs. In appearance the pepino dulce is much like a potato plant, but the leaves may take many forms–simple and entire, lobed, or divided into leaflets.
Flowers:……..CLICK & SEE
The small flowers are blue, violet-purple or white marked with purple, and are similar in form to unopened potato flowers. The pepino dulce is considered to be parthenocarpic but a much heavier crop results from self-pollination or cross-pollination. The plants will not set fruit until the night temperatures are above 65° F. Flowering normally takes place from August to October.
Fruits:……..CLICK & SEE
Flowers are followed by delight fruit. The fruit show considerable diversity in size and shape. In the areas of its origin there are small oblong types with many seeds, while others are pear or heart-shaped with few or many seeds. Still others are round, slightly larger than a baseball and completely seedless. The colors also vary completely purple, solid green or green with purple stripes, or cream colored with or without purple stripes. The fruit are usually round to egg-shaped, about 2 to 4 inches long, with some growing up to 6 inches. The skin is typically yellow or purplish green, often with numerous darker streaks or stripes. The flesh is greenish to white and yellowish-orange. Better quality fruit is moderately sweet, refreshing and juicy with a taste and aroma similar to a combination of cantaloupe and honeydew melon. In poor varieties there can be an unpleasant “soapy” aftertaste. The fruit matures 30 to 80 days after pollination. Seeds start ripening from September to November.
*Fruits are eaten raw, it is juicy, sweet aromatic and very agreeable flavor somewhat like a honeydew melon.
*Ripe fruit can be served as a dessert. Their taste is similar to that of melons and mangoes.
*Unripe pepinos can also be eaten and treated much like a cucumber in salads, baked like a squash and used in a variety of other dishes.
Traditional uses and benefits of Pepino melon
*Fruit is considered beneficial for diabetes and should consume as salad daily.
*It helps with liver disease, lowers blood pressure, helps those that suffer from strokes to heal faster, and promotes cardiovascular health.
*Pepino Melon can also help prevent cancer and diabetes, plus lower cholesterol.
*Fiber present in pepino melon also helps with constipation and it tends to sooth away gastric ulcers too!
*Mature fruits can be harvested about 5 months after planting, and plants can continue to crop for up to two years.
*Many pepino-shaped vessels, amulets, and other ornamental have been excavated from Incan sites.
*Pepino plants have also been used as ornamental, especially due to the powerful scent that the fruit gives off.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.