Need ID for strange vine

Vasyr(z9 FL)August 28, 2005

Just a quick question... does anyone know what kind of vine this is? Oddly enough, it smells like peanut butter to me. It has small yellow pea-type flowers and orange fruit that split open when ripe to drop red bean-like seeds. The leaves are 5-pointed (you can see 2 or 3 leaves above the yellow flower.) Ignore the other vine in the photo... there are 2 different types in the picture...

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Vasyr, what beautiful leaves, please don't kill it! Haven't the faintest idea what it is. Would love some seeds! :) Arum

    Bookmark   August 29, 2005 at 8:07AM
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To me, it is the bitter melon vine: monordica balsamina.

Is the fruit green with ridges? Then turns to bright orange and the seeds are flat beige color and are covered with a red outer covering.

The melon has a bitter taste to it but it is suppose to have medicinal value. I grew up eating just have to get use to the taste:)

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   August 29, 2005 at 11:55AM
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Vasyr(z9 FL)


That's exactly what it is... Thank you so much! I found more info about it here:

I really appreciate the quick reply. I really like the vine a lot... very pretty fruit and easy to grow. Had no idea you could eat the fruit.

- Michael (Valrico, FL)

    Bookmark   August 29, 2005 at 1:49PM
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smells like peanut butter?!!!!

gotta have one! then, one of arum's mg's might smell like jelly.
off to the fridge...

    Bookmark   August 29, 2005 at 6:06PM
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what is the orange-flowered one?

    Bookmark   August 29, 2005 at 10:12PM
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Vasyr(z9 FL)

The one that has the bright orange on it is actually a seed pod that has split open. This is the over-ripe melon fruit of the Bitter Melon vine (with red seeds on the inside). It's the same vine that has the little yellow flower on it (to the left). There's another vine in there with green-white cluster flowers (top middle) that I also have no idea what it is...

    Bookmark   August 30, 2005 at 5:27PM
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well, it loooks a lot prettier than the pictures i found on a search! i am nto sure if i see the other clusters, but there are certainly various leaf shapes.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2005 at 10:25PM
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Vasyr, I've tried to grow the Bitter Melllon, cos I think it is very groovey and cool, but it just won't grow for me. I've heared the seeds need to be very fresh to germinate, and that may be true. I guess I just gave up, considering all the MG's I'm growing. Oh well, can't win'em all. :) arum

    Bookmark   August 31, 2005 at 7:45AM
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vasyr- that little white flower looks like sweet autumn clematis to me- any chance of that?

there was just a big write-up somewhere on vietnamese gardening, and the bitter melon- they're picked for eating while young and green, they get more and more bitter as they mature...

but they represent the astringent/alkyline side of the diet which is sorely neglected in american diets, and are supposed to be really good for you- to the point that they're starting to show up in the organic groceries.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2005 at 12:05PM
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Vasyr(z9 FL)

Ok, so I looked it up on Google using some of its characteristics and somehow I found the other vine. It's called "Milkweed or Strangler Vine" (morrenia odorata) another common weed vine here in Florida. I have it all over my yard and it's messy. Not only does it grow fast and furious, it drips a milky substance all over everything when you try to cut it down or pull it apart. Not a fun vine...

- Michael (Valrico, FL)

    Bookmark   September 1, 2005 at 4:49PM
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Yeah, but you have some neat things that grow wild in Flordia! They just love that heat. Winters coming here in the north, and I dread it! :) arum

    Bookmark   September 2, 2005 at 6:58AM
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Micheal, you are right. Highly invasive here in FL and impossible to get rid of. The kudzu of FL is what I call it. :)

    Bookmark   September 5, 2005 at 10:03PM
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sos940(z9 centralFL)

I've always known it as the Balsam Apple.
It is very invasive and grows over everything - then reseeds to grow some more! I think it smells like nasty vitamins icck! I wouldn't eat it - I think it is poisonous.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2005 at 9:19PM
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Same here in Maui. I hate the darn thing and pull it up whenever I find it in the garden. Its taken two years, but I am finally at the point of only finding one or two vines comming up. I am sure it would be lovely for those in areas that have killing frosts every year. but not for me!

    Bookmark   September 23, 2005 at 12:49AM
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Does the vine with the tiny white flower have a stiff stem and bleeds like milkweed when cut and the leaves are kinda heart shape? (Couldn't really tell in picture?) I had it come up as a volunteer and have tried to get rid of it as it grows in with my Pipevine and smothers it. The sap from it broke me out in bumps just like my Jasimine does. I have seen Milkweed bugs on mine and had hoped it was a butterfly host plant but hve never seen anything around it. Did you pull yours out?

    Bookmark   October 30, 2005 at 7:39PM
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Vasyr(z9 FL)

It's hard to pull out... but yes, it sounds like the same vine.

By the way, I have been emailing you about our recent plant exchange but for some reason it doesn't seem like you are getting my emails. I got the email that you received the plants... I am still interested in the Bacopa and anything else you have. Let me know when you can send them out to me.

- Michael

    Bookmark   November 1, 2005 at 12:27AM
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I just pulled out a bunch of the milkweed vine today. Hard to get the roots but I have far less now to pull out than I have had in the past.

I haven't gotten any emails from you. I will send you the Bacopa as soon as possible. You sent me another plant for the Peacocks, didn't you? If so, it didn't survive the snail mail. It was pretty withered when it arrived. Started to perk up after I planted it then died out. I was surprised that it took nearly a week to get from Valicro to Lakeland - a snail could have made it faster! HA HA! So when I send you the Bacopa, which will need to have some moist dirt around it I think it needs to come Priority Mail. Did you also want some A. Elegans (Pipevine seeds) or Butterfly Pea Vine seeds? I have been trading with several people and have gotten confused on whats going where.
Send me your address again, via email.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2005 at 10:22PM
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Vasyr(z9 FL)

I sent you some Green Shrimp Plant, if I remember correctly. I can re-send you some if you'd like. Sorry they died; I don't know why in the world it took that long.

It's probably no use sending you my address via email, since you are not getting my emails. They might be going to a junk folder or something in your email system. Do you have an alternate email? (Not the one associated with your GardenWeb account?) If you let me know an alternate email, I will send the info to you...

:o) Thanks
- Michael

    Bookmark   November 2, 2005 at 4:27PM
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I've been reading lately that the morrenia odrata is edible. And I tossed some away last year. Will have to explore this more.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 6:27PM
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