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Creeping-cucumber (Melothria pendula) | by bob in swamp
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Creeping-cucumber (Melothria pendula)

This tiny native cucumber has two completely opposite reputations. Some authors (and states) list the tiny watermelon-looking fruit as toxic (extremely purgative) while others say it's a safe and tasty addition to salads. The disparity seems to be related to the degree of ripeness of the fruit. The green fruit has a crisp, cucumber-like taste and is safe to eat while the ripe black fruit may have a laxative effect if eaten in quantity. The tiny flowers are about 10mm across and the fruit 20mm. This one lives at Frenchman's Forest Natural Area in Palm Beach County. Here is lots more information: www.eattheweeds.com/creeping-cucumber-melothria-pendula/

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Taken on May 11, 2012