A short while ago, I wrote about the kiwano fruit that grows in my yard. I was asked so many questions in the comments I received. So I decided to add some more facts about this fruit here.
- Kiwano is an annual fruit. Once it grows flowers and produces fruits which mature, it starts to wither slowly as the fruits ripen. As you pick the fruits, it finally dries up. Remember that the fruits which grow on the vine become smaller as it grows to its final drying.
- Kiwano grew by itself in the Kalahari Desert where it originates. It grows in a condition which is hot or warm. I wonder if it grows in places where it snows? Maybe in the summer when it is warm.
- One can grow kiwano is in a greenhouse, as it gets the right growing conditions there.
- Kiwano is attacked by pests which make holes into the fruit. Pesticides can be used to kill the pests. Fortunately, the kiwano plant suffers from few diseases.
- Kiwano is a vine in the cucurbit family and, as such, is related to both the cucumber and the loofa plant. It climbs on other plants for support. If you grow kiwano, then you need to stake it. Or it can just crawl on the ground and produce that way, too. It behaves just like a pumpkin, which is yet another cucurbit.
- Like other plants in the melon family, kiwano does not like to have its root system disturbed once it begins to grow. It is best not to attempt uprooting the plant in order to move it elsewhere. To be on the safe side, you just plant one seed in a peat pot or empty toilet tube. Once the kiwano is ready for planting out, you can transplant it without disturbing its root system. You can also grow one seed in a hole directly in your garden to avoid transplanting.
- Since kiwano fruit is rich in vitamin E, one can smear the juice through the hair to make it grow healthy. Leave in for about 15 to 20 minutes before washing it away, then shampoo as usual.
- The leaves can be ground up and the sap applied to an open wound. This will heal the wound within less than a week. This is a home remedy that we have often used to heal wounds.
- Kiwano can be eaten in many ways. You start by removing the horns or thorns to make it easier to wash. Then you thoroughly wash the fruits and eat the inside of the fruit including the seeds.
- You can also squeeze out the juice, add some sweeteners, refrigerate it a bit and then take this drink as a refreshing beverage.
Kiwano may be expensive but the value it offers surpasses the cost.
Featured image: Hans/Pixabay Free Images/CCO