Cucurbita ficifolia
“Shark Fin Melon” 

Cucurbita ficifolia “Shark Fin Melon”

photo: meimei28

Tough, dynamic & all kinds of delicious! Though scarcely found commercially, this hardy & fast growing melon has been around the world with different uses in each region. The leaves, shoots & flowers are edible, the seeds highly nutritious & delicious & the flesh is used as an ethically sound substitute for shark fin in soups. It can be cooked like Summer squash when the fruits are immature & is a sweet confection when ripe, like a spaghetti-squash with sweet and mild coconut flavor. In Asia, this fruit is popular with diabetics for its effects on insulin levels, in Chile they make it into marmalade & in Africa they use it to make an alcoholic drink. One plant can produce over 50 fruits & each fruit can weigh up to 13 lbs so give it room! I, for one, will be torturing one in a big, big pot, because it’s rumored to be a MASSIVE beast. Wish me luck.

Claire Woods

Full Sun
Avg. Water

USDA Zones 9-10,
Annual elsewhere