Cyclanthera pedata

Cyclanthera pedata “Caigua”

Quite the entertaining vegetable, you can think of this annual climbing cucurbit as both a useful herbal remedy, a new & interesting salad vegetable, & as garden fireworks. It explodes! To 6’, “Caigua” requires a hot spot in the garden to really get going, & rich, fertile soil. As a vegetable it can be used in salads, or steamed. Herbally, the fruit has anti-inflammatory, weight reducing, lipid-absorbing, cholesterol & blood sugar regulating affects. Also it tastes good! Seeds are interestingly turtle-shaped. Fun! When ripe, the fruits become spring-loaded missile devices, & turn themselves inside-out to launch their seeds away into the garden. We would advise wearing goggles to avoid eye injury if you’re going in for an up-close investigation of this process.

Claire Woods

All Zones