Garden Talk

with Rebecca Jordi

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Q: What is this vine? Can I eat it?


Creeping Cucumber

A:  I believe it is a native annual called Creeping cucumber, Melothria pendula, which is in the cucumber family. The leaves are heart-shaped and lobed and have a sand paper feel.  The flowers are yellow.  I am always reluctant to tell anyone they can eat something in the wild we all react differently to various plant parts. The fruit is a green or black berry with white seeds and while the fruit is edible it can be a strong laxative. Most people classify creeping cucumber as a weed and it can become a nuisance because it creates seeds in large numbers.  The fruit is small and it often causes digestive problems therefore creeping cucumber is seldom considered useful for vegetable gardens.