Banana Melon-cross pollinate with cucumber?

patty527July 18, 2006

Hi. This is my first year with attempts at heirloom varieties. Everything has done nicely except for the banana melon that I planted and I am wondering if it could cross pollinate with a cucumber. We harvested one today and it looks like a banana melon in shape and color. When cut it did not have the salmon coloring inside, it was whiteish. It had the flavor of a cucumber. I hadn't even considered it could cross pollinate with a cucumber until now. It was planted in April so I think it has had time to mature. I have only seen the melons on the internet so I have no idea really what I'm looking at. Any help would be greatly apprecated.



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gardenlad(6b KY)

In two words: im possible.

They belong to different species. The melons are Cucumis melo while the cukes are Cucumis sativus.

Despite a common myth to the contrary, melons and true cukes cannot cross with each other.

I suspect your banana melon just hasn't ripened yet.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2006 at 8:05PM
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Wheew! I will just let the others stay on the vines for a while longer. I see right now I have a lot to learn. Thank you for your helpful knowledge.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2006 at 1:44AM
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I'm not a melon expert. But I bet you'll be able to tell when this melon is ripe by sniffing it. It'll have a great aroma!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2006 at 9:58AM
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I don't know anything about what family cantaloupes and cucumbers are from but my sister had hers planted very close together and her cukes were light orange skin and cantaloupe orange inside but shaped like a cucumber,smelled like a cucumber and tasted like a cucumber.I saw in the newspaper that this also happened in Houma, La. a couple of weeks ago. Not unbelievable to me since I had already seen it myself.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2006 at 8:21AM
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When you let a cucumber ripen to produce mature seed it will turn orange, at least the variety I grow does. But they won't cross.

Even if they could, the cross wouldn't show up in the fruit, but rather in the seed, and in the next generation grown from that seed. For instance, when a red tomato variety crosses with a yellow tomato variety, there is no sign in the fruit that this cross has occurred (I wish there was!). Instead, when seed is saved and replanted the resulting plants (at least those which are from crossed seed) will show it in their fruit.

Tahlequah, OK

    Bookmark   July 22, 2006 at 7:51AM
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Patty, The Banana melon will turn yellow on the outside same as other muskmelons /cantelopes when ripe. They also get fairly large I have some now that are about 2 ft long, 18in is probably average. It is an excellent melon. Rodger

    Bookmark   July 27, 2006 at 11:55AM
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Albeit infrequent real cukes sometimes cross with cantelopes and melons , but not water melons . The Armenian "guta " cuke is a melon . you probaly have an immature melon though . When you shake them and the seeds rattle they are ripe.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2006 at 2:50PM
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nygardener(z6 New York)

In Ed Smith's The Vegetable Gardener's Bible, he says: Grow melons far enough from cucumbers and winter squash so the vines cannot intertwine. The melons will be bitter if their blossoms are pollinated by either of these related plants.Is this for real? I'd have thought that, as George says, even if this happens you'd see the effect only if you planted the crossed seed. I have all three of these growing together and don't even remember which is which. Should I be worried that my melons will bear bitter-tasting fruit?!

    Bookmark   June 5, 2007 at 6:34AM
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I really believe that's faulty information. Either they cross pollinate (and produce viable seed), or they don't. Being of different species (with the possible exception of the above mentioned Armenian Cuke) they don't cross, period. I wouldn't worry about it. I had cantaloupe and cucumbers planted right next to each other, last year, with no ill effects at all.


    Bookmark   June 6, 2007 at 11:13AM
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Hate to break it to you George, but cukes and melons do cross once in a while. Look it up on the web.

Ok, so it is only in a lab when treated with colchicine, but still, it has been done. Search for kirkbride cucumber melon and you should find the articles.


    Bookmark   June 8, 2007 at 7:00PM
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I kinda of thought something might be accomplished, like that, in a lab. But that's not the need I was addressing. I've heard of interspecies crossing between other closely related species, but mostly by forcing them in a lab situation. Last year I heard about some "in-the-field" crossing between c. maxima and c. pepo squash (the maximas were pollinated by the pepos), but my understanding was that the resulting seed was sterile and that it occurred because, at the time, there was no c. maxima pollen available. Since the fruit was unaffected, the only problem was that it was filled with useless seed (not viable) . Good to hear from you Fusion!


    Bookmark   June 10, 2007 at 7:28AM
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My son planted a pumpkin seed in the middle of my summer squash patch one year. Nothing out of the ordinary that year except for a pumpkin plant that took over the entire garden. The next year I had little plants popping up everywhere, and let them grow to see what they were. They were Squmpkins!! Small and squash shaped, but orange and stripey! Tasted like squash. My kids thought it was cool-- Teenage Mutant Ninja Vegetables!

    Bookmark   June 22, 2007 at 5:42PM
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We have grown the banana melons for the first time this year and they have been great huge big fruit and yes they taste like cucumber if picked too early we thought ours were never going to rippen then over night they changed to a real yellow from green i was amazed how quick they did and great sweet fruit we are northern victoria

    Bookmark   April 4, 2011 at 8:26AM
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