'CUCUMIS MELO VAR CONOMON' FROM 'CUCURBITACEAE' FAMILY

 ABOUT 'CUCUMIS MELO VAR CONOMON PLANT.


 Cucumis melo var conomon

FAMILY:- CUCURBITACEAE 

BOTANICAL NAME:- Cucumis melo var conomon  
VERNACULAR NAMES:

SINHALA : Hen-Kekiri
TAMIL : Vellarikkai
ENGLISH : Chinese White Cucumber, Oriental Pickling melon.


DESCRIPTION :

An annual, tendril climber with long, bluntly angular stems, rough with hooked prickly hairs on ridges, tendrils simple.
 

LEAVES:- Simple, alternate, 7.5-11.2 cm long, broadly cordate ovate with the basal lobes rounded, usually shallowly cut into 3 or 5 acute lobes, slightly dentate, very roughly hairy on both sidesjpetioles stout, often as long as the leaves, deeply sulcate above, often much twisted.
 

FLOWERS:- Regular, yellow, unisexual, monoecious, small; male flowers in small clusters, female flowers solitary, 1.8 cm wide. 

FRUITS:- Ovoid - globose, slightly trigonous in section, small, glabrous, obscurely striped with dark and light green, solid, fleshy; seeds numerous, horizontal, narrowly ovoid, compressed and smooth (Jayaweera, 1980; Tindall, 1993).
 

DISTRIBUTION:
 

Grows in South-east Asia (Tindall, 1993). It is common in waste ground in the low country in Sri Lanka.
 

EDIBLE PART: The fruit is cooked and eaten as a vegetable.
FOOD USE: Fruit pulp is usually eaten raw as a dessert, often with a little sugar. Seeds may be roasted and eaten as a snack. 


NUTRITIONAL AND THERAPEUTIC VALUE:
 

Moisture - 96 g, 
Energy - 13 kcal, 
Proteins - 0.4 g, 
Carbohydrate - 2.5 g, 
Calcium 10 mg, 
Phosphorus - 25 mg, 
Iron - 0.5 mg, 
Thiamine - 30 mg, 
Riboflavin - 0.03 meg, 
Niacin - 0.2 meg, 
Vitamin C - 7.0 mg (Weerakoon, 1993) .
 

The juice of the fruit after being impregnated with impure carbonate of potash and steamed in hot ash, is used as a diuretic for cases of difficulty in passing urine and other urinary complaints.
 

ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSE:
 

Tolerant to a wide range of environmental conditions. Soils with high organic contents and good water retaining capacity are ideal for melon. Grows well in altitudes below 500 m.
 

CULTIVATION:
 

General propagation is by seed. 2-3 seeds are sown 1-2 cm deep in prepared holes or on mounds or ridges and later thinned to 1 plant per site. If seedlings are used they should be transplanted when 10-15 cm high.
 

Spacing - Rows 1.3-2 m apart, 60-90 cm between plants.
 

Irrigation - Generally grown under irrigation.
 

Fertilizer - Plants respond well to organic manuring, main requirements of inorganic fertilizers are Ca, N and K.
 

Time of harvest - 3-4 months after planting when some fruits are indicated by an abscission crack where the fruit is attached to the fruit stalk.
 

STORAGE:
 

Fruits may be stored at low temperatures. Removal of field heat immediately after harvesting is essential.

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