Friday, August 12, 2011

Behold the Plum Granny

When I was a girl my Grandma Bird would grow Plum Grannies in her garden every year.  At their peak of ripeness she would pick them and set them in her window sills.  With the window open, their fragrance would fill the room.   


The Plum Granny is a gourd like melon and is also known as Queen Anne's Pocket Melon.  Legend has it that Queen Anne kept a Plum Granny in her pocket as a sachet.  The history of this ornamental fruit can be traced back to the Egyptians, who also prized it for its fragrance. 


I grew them this year in a straw bale where they vined out similar to a cucumber.  When ripe they have a yellow and orange striped marking. 

The Plum Granny is also known by the names pomegranate melon, plumgranny, or vegetable peach. 

Any of you ever heard of this little gem? 

51 comments:

  1. have never heard of or seen these! interesting!

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  2. This is new to me. It sure sounds interesting. I wish I could smell it.

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  3. Nope, never heard of this one! But I like it, very interesting. You really have me curious about the aroma now so these will have to go on the "to try" garden list next year. Did you order the seeds on-line or get them local?

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  4. I haven not but they sound intriguing. I am going to add it to my 'to plant' list for next year!

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  5. I have never heard of those! How is that possible? They remind me a little of that lemon drop melon I talked about this summer...at least in size! How cute!

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  6. I haven't heard of them in years! My Gram grew them!

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  7. Never heard of it but I'm fascinated. Planting things just for their fragrance is becoming a lost art.

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  8. I have never heard of it...how very interesting that it smells so lovely. I wonder what makes it only ornamental?
    Have a great weekend!

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  9. I have not...Let me know how they taste.

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  10. Farmchick -- I had never heard of this melon before so I did a little searching. Found out they are heirloom and can be bought very reasonable at New Hope Seed:

    http://www.newhopeseed.com/plum_granny.html

    Victorian woman carried them when they hadn't taken a bath in a while -- for their scent. Can eat but are bland.

    Thanks Farmchick for introducing these -- I will order some for next year.

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  11. No, but I am 99% sure I would love both the aroma AND the flesh of such a fruit! Fascinating! Now I want some, yum!

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  12. So, will they be part of this year's harvest decorations?

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  13. Very Interesting....no, I have never heard of these1

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  14. Something new! I've never heard of those. Are they easy to grow?

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  15. I've never seen those before...they sound delicious though!!

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  16. I've never heard of plumgrannies before! Do they require as long to grow as melons?
    I told my husband about your bale growing and we decided it would be the way to go for our garden next
    year.
    Have a great weekend!

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  17. nope never heard of it before! So do they taste like a normal melon???

    It sure turned out like a goodlooking fruit!

    Hope you have a great weekend!
    Leontien

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  18. This is all new to me, but I enjoyed reading about the plum granny.

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  19. Leah - I ordered these seeds from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. You can get a free catalog and it is a gorgeous publication.

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  20. Sherri B - Their flavor is supposed to be not so great, but their fragrance is lovely. My grandmother never ate them. Just used them for fragrance.

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  21. I have never heard of these. Wondering what the inside looks like. Did you taste it?

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  22. They look like the little gourds I use in Thanksgiving decorations, but I've never noticed a fragrance.

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  23. I have never heard of Plumgrannies, but they are a cute little gourd that would look nice in fall arangements. And a bonus if it smells good too.

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  24. Never heard of them either, but they look interesting to grow. Maybe they can replace artificial car fresheners ! ;-)

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  25. Randy - I didn't eat them. My grand always told me they weren't for eating!

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  26. I have honestly never heard of it! It's a cute little thing though, I'd like to taste one.

    I love your blog by the way! It's beautiful :)

    -Abby
    www.picturebritain.com

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  27. Love it when I find out something NEW! Tell us more about growing in a straw bale...

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  28. What an interesting fruit! I never heard of it before and now I'm curious to smell its fragance.

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  29. The one in your hand looks like a lemon cucumber. Is it about that same size? I have never heard of the Granny. Unusual.

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  30. At first, I thought you were talking about a plump granny. Mine was.

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  31. never heard of it...but i know this..i wish it was in MY kitchen window !!!

    kary and teddy
    xx

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  32. How neat; I've never heard of of it. I'm sad that our gardening season is winding down, though we have a few things on the horizon for the fall.

    Have a wonderful week! xo

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  33. No-but I'd like to grow them too : )

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  34. so cool...I've never heard of them...learned something new today...

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  35. Interesting post. I've never heard of it before either. It was good to see the size comparison ... & it looks like a child of the same family !!

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  36. I bought two of these from a farmer at the Pulaski TN farmers market. I had never seen them, and understood him to say "pomegranate" which I knew it was not. He told me that they are mainly used for fragrance, and these two were amazingly fragrant. After a futile time on google with terms like "fragrant striped fruit" I stopped in at our Ag Extension center in Nashville. They struck out too,but sent a photo to UT Knoxville, where I got a very nice response from Prof. Carl Sams, who not only identified it, but waxed nostalgic about his grandmother growing them. He said he hadn't seen one for years. I have my seeds out drying right now, and hope to grow from them next spring.

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  37. I live near Knoxville, TN, and though in my mid-30s now, fondly remember buying these for a quarter each at local fleamarkets. They would keep.thier lovely fruity/musky scent for about 7-10 days.. A nice organic room scenter, especially for me as a 10-12 year old. Thanks for the memory lane trip ;)

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  38. I live near Knoxville, TN, and though in my mid-30s now, fondly remember buying these for a quarter each at local fleamarkets. They would keep.thier lovely fruity/musky scent for about 7-10 days.. A nice organic room scenter, especially for me as a 10-12 year old. Thanks for the memory lane trip ;)

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  39. Boy does this take me back! Growing up in Southern Indiana we would raise these. As kids we would carry them around to smell the fragrance and keep in our room. The breeze from the open window would spread the fragrance thoughout the room

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  40. I am from North Carolina. I remember as a child my grandparents planted some of these plum grannies. They did have a lovely sweet smell that lasted for days. I think my grandparents only used them for their fragrance.


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  41. I am from Kentucky. My grandmother would grow plum grannies every year and give us some. My mom placed them on the mantle to give the house that sweet smell. Never did taste one, don't even know if they are edible.

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  42. YES!! My Alabama grandmother grew them each year for their fragrance and novelty. I came across seeds several years ago and I grow them for nostalgic reasons.

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  43. Yes we grow these every year and the smell is quite amazing!! I was always told never eat them because they don't taste good, I have tried and really they don't have any flavor at all.

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  44. My dad says his mother grew them. He carried one around with him as a kid just to smell it. They taste bland according to him. He is 86 years old now. They come from Africa originally and are found all over the Appalachians now. Cultivators consider then a noxious invasive plant because they will crossbreed with other melons and can ruin their crops. Considered eradicated in California. Also called Dudaim Melon, Apple Melon, Queen Anne's Pocket Melon, Vine Pomegranate, Plum Granny, Wild Muskmelon, vine peach, as well as the plum granny.

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  45. Hey everybody I have some of these in a tub out back. Rite now they are Dark green & lite green. I thought that there was something wrong with them, because it has been probley over 20 years since i have grown any. My seeds are (freezer) probley over 20 years old . I got 2 plants out of 5 seeds to come up I love them laying around house then you save the seeds , let them dry & freeze . This is first time I have ever been in this site, hope I can get back in later Have a good day

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  46. I have 3 in the house right now and they make each room smell so good. Hope to get the seeds so I can replant next year1

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  47. grow them every year. I will even eat a slice or two...not to bad but the fragrance is wonderful..Always save the seeds each year. Originally given one melon years ago.

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