Kiwano: What is This Fruit?

What Fruit is This Kiwano?

Kiwano fruit

A whole kiwano fruit (Image: Sphole/Pixabay/Public domain)

Kiwano is perhaps the fruit which boasts the most names of any other that has existed on planet earth. Kiwano has at least nine different names. Maybe there is another which boasts more than ten names. If there is, then inform us.

The Many Names of the Kiwano Fruit

Let us begin with the name Kiwano. The name must have its origin in Africa, for Kiwano may also be called African horned cucumber or African horned melon. These make the total names to be three. The botanical name is Cucumis metuliferus. The fruit may also be known by these other names: horned melon, jelly melon, hedged gourd, melano, blowfish fruit, and perhaps others. How do you call it where you come from?

Characteristics Of the Fruit Known as Kiwano

  • It may be described as an annual vine in the cucumber and melon family. The vine climbs on other plants for support.
  • It is a yellowish orange fruit characterized by horns, or hedges, all over the fruit.
  • The plant enjoys hiding its fruits using other vines that grow downwards.
  • The fruit has a green jelly-like center that contains flat seeds.
  • The taste of the fruit is something between a melon and cucumber. It is therefore not so pleasant to eat.
  • The fruit is rich in many minerals and vitamins that have many nutritious benefits to humans.
  • The seeds can stay in the ground for quite some time before they germinate. After germinating, they do not enjoy being transplanted unless you grow them in tubes.

How Did I Come To Know Kiwano Fruit?

For many years, the fruit used to grow in my garden and I never knew how to get rid of it. The fruit looked scary and nobody wanted to eat it. For many years, we tried to uproot, burn and destroy the vines but the seeds found a way to germinate and grow anyway.

The Market for Kiwano Fruit Found at Last

Horned cucumber

Horned cucumber, showing the seeds and jelly
(Image: Lebensmitterphotos/Pixabay/CC0)

One day, a merchant came and wanted the fruits in very large quantities. They were sought of like gold in the capital. Soon, I had found a good market for my produce. The price ranged from $1 to $4 depending on demand and supplies. I had to find out through Google search the benefits of this fruit.

What Are The Properties of Kiwano Fruit?

The fruit is 80% water, which is a property that makes it a good fruit for those who want to check their weight. It also has vitamin A, C, E and many others. It also boasts of having zinc, calcium and many other minerals.

The Benefits of Kiwano Fruit

Kiwano fruit cut in half (Image: Lebensmittelfotos/Pixabay/CC0)

Kiwano fruit cut in half
(Image: Lebensmittelfotos/Pixabay/CC0)

It has properties which slow down the aging process. The fruit has the capacity to remove wrinkles and make the face and body smooth. if you are in need of strengthening your bones then you have your solution in Kiwano. the fruit is also capable of treating ulcers, diabetes and other insistent diseases.

Kiwano is a wonder fruit, as it is known to reduce stress and anxiety in humans. Wounds can also be healed by this fruit.


Featured image: Steven Giacomelli/Pixabay/CC0



  1. Kyla Matton Osborne

    I think I may have seen kiwano in the stores once or twice, when we lived in Montreal. I never knew what they were and, like you, I found their appearance put me off trying them.

    1. Kyla Matton Osborne

      I will definitely try them if I see them again. Sadly, the selection of fresh fruits and vegetables is very poor where we live now.

    2. Lois Ryan

      I find it in my store once in a while. Has a little tart taste but very good.

  2. Andria Perry

    I have only seen this fruit once in one of the high price stores. I need this to make me look young again.

    I pinned, stumbled and tumblr this article.

  3. Rex Trulove

    I know that this is grown in California and Florida here in the states, but I’ve only seen it in stores once, some years ago. I’ve never grown or tasted it. However, most cucurbits grow well here, so I’m willing to bet that it would grow here, with the proper care (which should be like most other cucurbits). 😀 I’d like to try it.

    1. Rex Trulove

      Perhaps I’ll see if I can find the seeds and try to grow them next year. I want to try growing loofa, too.

    2. Rex Trulove

      Thank you. I’ll keep that in mind. I suspect that I won’t have much difficulty finding seeds, but if I do, I’ll get a hold of you.

    1. Fifi Leigh

      i think that is too complicated. i will probably try it out whenever i see one locally.

    1. Rex Trulove

      Loofa (or luffa) are known as vegetable sponges. I’m writing an article about them right now. Cucurbits is a reference to a family of plants that include pumpkins, squash, watermelons, cucumbers, gourds and kiwano. 🙂

    2. Rex Trulove

      You are quite welcome! Plant families are useful to know, because most of the plants in a family have the same growing habits.

  4. Treathyl FOX

    I learned of this fruit because I subscribed to a blog about exotic fruits. Glad to know someone who actually grew them in their home garden. Is there a particular way that you like to eat kiwano?

  5. Linda Jenkinson

    Where were you living to have such a tropical fruit grow in your back yard? I wonder if one can somehow add it to a smoothy with better tasting fruit to reap all those marvellous benefits. 🙂

  6. Deb Jones

    It sounds as if kiwano may be on its way to being touted as the next super food, like pomegranates and other fruits and vegetables before it. I’ve never noticed these in any supermarket, but will keep a keen eye out for them now that I know what they are.

  7. Linda Jenkinson

    Thanks for that- of course- that’s why I hardly see it here. I like different fruit and sometimes we have a few exotic ones but will look out for the Kiwano Fruit!

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