BELIEVE IT OR NOT VEGETABLES
Brassica oleracea longata ‘Giant Walking Stick Kale’ - Plants grow 6 - 7 feet the first year and can reach 15 feet or more in height the second year, if grown over winter. In the Channel Islands, the stems have been crafted into fine walking sticks for well over a century. Also edible, but mainly grown for its ornamental and novelty value.
Cucumis ‘Mexican Sour Gherkin’ - 75 days. These pack a powerful, sweet, cucumber flavor with a tangy, citrus twist. Delicate foliage and fruit that look like teaspoon-sized watermelons.
Cucumis melo var. dudaim ‘Queen Anne’s Pocket Melon’ - 85-90 days – This Victorian favorite was grown not for its edibility, but rather for its aroma! The small, 3 ½ x 2 ½ diameter fruits are extremely fragrant and were carried by women for its perfume-like qualities. The white flesh is edible, but rather tasteless.
Cucumis melo ‘Golden Sweet’ - Gorgeous lemon-colored rinds with sweet, white crisp flesh. Skin is so thin the fruit can be enjoyed straight from the garden without peeling. Pick fruit when they turn golden.
Cucumis melo ‘Painted Serpent’ Armenian striped - 63 days. Unique appearance and excellent flavor. Unusual, slightly fuzzy, "S"-shaped fruits are slightly ridged with alternating dark and light green stripes. Harvest from 8-18".
Cucumis melo ‘Valencia’ – Wrinkly, blackish green rind covers sweet, crisp, cream-colored flesh that ripens slowly after picking. Considered a winter melon because it keeps for 4 months.
Cucumis melo var. cantalupensis ‘Canoe Creek Colossal’ - 90 days. Plant produces good yields of large green and orange football shaped melons. The fruit can top 20 pounds if kept well watered.
Cucumis melo var. cantalupensis ‘Prescott Fond Blanc’ - 70 days. The fruit is 4-9 lbs., very flattened and ribbed, with warts and bumps. Melons have grey/green skin turning straw color; flesh is salmon-orange.
Cucumis melo var. conoman Mak. ‘Sakata’s Sweet’ –85-95 days. Small, golden yellow baseball sized melons have crisp, refreshingly sweet pale yellow flesh.
Cucumis melo var. reticulatas ‘Banana’ – 80-100 days. Smooth yellow skin. 16-24” long, tapered at both ends like an overgrown banana! Has sweet, spicy salmon-pink flesh.
Cucumis melo var. reticulates ‘Eden’s Gate’ - Introduced in 1905 by T. W. Wood & Sons of Richmond, Virginia and named after their farm. The dark-green oblong melons weigh 8-10 pounds have a deeply ribbed rind and sweet orange flesh that melts in your mouth. Highly flavored and aromatic. Pick slightly prior to full slip for best flavor. 90-110 days. Rare!
Cucumis melo var. reticulates ‘Hollybrook Luscious’ – Muskmelon. Oblong, 8-10 pound melons have a dark green, deeply ribbed rind and sweet orange flesh that melts your mouth!
Cucumis melo var. reticulates ‘Tigger’ – Vibrant yellow fruit with brilliant fire-red zigzag stripes and fragrant, sweet white flesh that gets sweeter when grown dry. Fruit weighs about 1 pound. Vigorous plants, heavy yield.
Cucumis metuliferus ‘African Jelly Melon’ - The horned melon is a vining annual that can be grown practically anywhere, provided a warm season. Plants can produce up to 100 fruits on a single vine. Provide support for the tendrils to grab. Bright orange, oval fruit with numerous prominent spines. Flesh is bright green, watery, and with a slight sweetness.
Cucumis sativus ‘Hmong Red’ - The fruits are white to pale green, turning golden-orange as they ripen. A very productive and tasty variety that stays mild even when large.
Cucumis sativus ‘Miniature White’ - 50-55 days – The short, 3 foot vines produce a heavy crop of white, sweet and crunchy, mini cukes. So tender, there’s no peeling necessary. For maximum flavor, pick when smaller than 3 inches.
Cucumis sativus L .var. sativus ‘Poona Kheera’ - 60 days. Cream/light green fruits, very delicious flesh, crisp, juicy, sweet and mild. Fruit shaped like a potato, with skin turning brown as they ripen. Vines produce early and with very heavy yields. A wonderful heirloom from India.
Cucumis sativus var. sikkimensis ‘Sikkim’ - A unique, rusty-red cucumber discovered in the Himalayas of Sikkim and Nepal by Sir Joseph Hooker in 1848, this variety produces an abundance of large, fat fruit up to 15" long by 6" wide. The reddish-brown fruits are marked with yellow and are delicious eaten raw or cooked - in Asia cucumbers are often stir-fried and are quite tasty.
Cucurbita maxima ‘Galeux d’Eyesines’ - Originating from the Bordeaux region of France, this heirloom was first listed by Vilmorin in 1883 under the name Warted Sugar Marrow. The salmon pink squash are slightly flattened and may weigh up to 15 pounds. Develops large beige warts as it ripens. The flesh can be used for soup or baked and the long vines are productive and early. 100 days.
Cucurbita maxima ‘Iran’ - Beautiful, large round fruits grow up to 25 lbs. Ripened fruits display a mix of salmon, green and white. Nice for decorations and very good for eating.
Cucurbita maxima ‘La Estrella’ – Multi-colored tropical pumpkin has gray, green and peach colored skin and deep orange flesh. In northern climates, the vining plants produce 10 pound winter squash with texture and flavor similar to a butternut.
Cucurbita maxima ‘Marina di Chioggia’ - 100-105 days. An Italian heirloom, both culinary and ornamental winter squash/pumpkin. Vines bear round, 4- to 12-pound fruit with blistery, bubbled, slate blue-green rind and orange flesh.
Cucurbita maxima ‘Triamble’ - 105 days.Triangular Heirloom from Australia. Excellent flavor and is a novelty for fall decoration.
Cucurbita moschata ‘American Tonda’ - A beautiful, ribbed ornamental pumpkin that has deep orange skin with green stripes between the prominent ribs. Productive plants, fruits weigh 4-6 pounds. Virtually unseen in the U.S., sure to be a great seller at roadside and markets stands. 90-100 days.
Cucurbita moschata ‘Batwing’ – 90 days. Festive novelty pumpkins in a mix of orange/black and bicolors. Vigorous semi-bush plants produce loads of the 1-1 ½ pound fruits with strong handle.
Cucurbita moschata ‘Black Futsu’ - Rare, black Japanese squash, the fruit is flattened, round and has heavy ribbing. The black fruit will turn a rich chestnut color in storage. Flesh is golden color and has the rich taste of hazelnuts. Fruits are 3-8 lbs. each and vines give huge yields.
Cucurbita moschata ‘Bliss’ -
Cucurbita moschata ‘Tromboncino d’Albenga’ -95 to 110 days . An Italian Heirloom Zucchini with enormous fruits up to 3 feet long. Best picked when young for the finest flavor. It will turn gourd like and may be used in ornamental decorations if left to grow full-size.
Cucurbita moschata ‘Thai Large Black’ pumpkin – Beautiful black colored squash turn tan in storage. Fruits are flattened, ribbed and have a textured skin. 10 pound fruits have thick sweet yellow flesh. Heavy yields in hot, humid climates.
Cucurbita pepo ‘Gadzukes’ zucchini squash – 55 days. Beautiful, cool green fruits have paler, striped, raised ridges, so when you slice them you get little star-shaped patties.
Cucurbita pepo ‘Kakai’ – Eye catching 8-10 inch, bright orange striped and speckled with dark green. Makes unique jack o’ lanterns and yields plump, hull less seeds.
Cucurbita pepo ‘Yugoslavian Finger Fruit’ - 90 days. Plant produces good yields of creamy white squash. An heirloom variety from Yugoslavia dating back to 1885. The squash can be eaten as a summer squash when young or left to mature to be an interesting conversation piece.
Lagenaria siceraria ‘Bule’ gourd - 100-125 days. Gourds are 6-8 inches tall and 5-6 inches across and are borne on very vigorous vines. When first picked, the outer shell is green and turns brown when dried.
Lagenaria siceraria ‘Dinosaur’ gourd - 125 days. Solid-green fruits have curved necks and wing-like projections, perfect for gourdcraft swans. Total length of 18-24" with an 8" bowl and unique serpentine projections. Straight necks if grown on a trellis.
Lagenaria lycopersicum Variegated Tomato -70-75 days. Showy, indeterminate plants have heavy sets of round 2" fruits on trusses of 5-6, good taste.
Raphanus caudatus ‘Rat-tailed Radish’ - 50 days. Native to South Asia. Plants are literally covered with crisp fleshy edible tapered seedpods that are thicker than a pencil and 4-6" long. Pods should be gathered before fully grown. Pods can be eaten raw, or good when chopped in salads.
Scorpiurus sp.Worm and Caterpillar Pods - The rolled up pods of caterpillar plants taste like paper but can be slipped into salads to surprise unwary diners. The grooved pods of various species are solid-colored or striped, smooth, hairy, or prickly.
Solanum muricatum ‘Pepino’ - The pepino, or pepino dulce, is an exotic fruit that is produced from the pepino plant, which is a small bush that resembles a tomato vine and which grows to approximately three feet in height. Produces 2-5" fruit with a mild taste, very similar to cantaloupe. The pepino has a thin, creamy colored, sometimes purple spotted skin much like a tomato. Popular in New Zealand, the pepino is becoming common in some United States markets.
Trichosanthes anguina ‘Polo’ snake gourd - 64 days. Long twisting fruits resemble snakes. Tender and tasty, fruits may be harvested from the time they are several inches long to 24".