Sicana odorifera, the only species of the genus Sicana, is a large, herbaceous perennial vine native to tropical South America, grown as an ornamental plant and for its sweet edible fruit. English names include cassabanana or casbanan, sikana, and musk cucumber.

The fast-growing, fleshy vine can reach 15 m or more in height, climbing with four-part adhesive tendrils. The large, hairy, palmately lobed leaves grow to 30 cm in width.

The fruit is large, up to 60 cm long, with skin of variable color. The fruit has fabulous melon-like taste if it is ripe, which needs high temperatures. The sweet, aromatic, yellow-to-orange flesh of the mature fruit is eaten raw or made into preserves. The immature fruit is cooked as a vegetable.

Cultivation

It is propagated by seeds. It is grown widely in the warm parts of Latin America, as well as by the Cajun people of the southern United States. It needs good drainage to grow well, and does well on an acidic mix of sand (or perlite) and rich compost.

Written on June 18th, 2012 , Fruits Tags:

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