**I LOVE plants that can be neglected and still thrive well!**
**GROWN ON OUR FARM HERE IN TENNESSEE**
** 5 CASSABANA SEEDS **
The vine is perennial, herbaceous, fast-growing, heavy, requiring a strong trellis; climbing trees to 50 ft (15 m) or more by means of 4-parted tendrils equipped with adhesive discs that can adhere tightly to the smoothest surface. Young stems are hairy. The leaves are gray-hairy, rounded-cordate or rounded kidney-shaped, to 1 ft (30 cm) wide, deeply indented at the base, 3-lobed, with wavy or toothed margins, on petioles 1 1/2 to 4 3/4 in (4-12 cm) long.
Flowers are white or yellow, urn-shaped, 5-lobed, solitary, the male 3/4 in (2 cm) long, the female about 2 in (5 cm) long. Renowned for its strong, sweet, agreeable, melon-like odor, the striking fruit is ellipsoid or nearly cylindrical, sometimes slightly curved; 12 to 24 in (30-60 cm) in length, 2 3/4 to 4 1/2 in (7-11.25 cm) thick, hard-shelled, orange-red, maroon, dark-purple with tinges of violet, or entirely jet-black; smooth and glossy when ripe, with firm, orange-yellow or yellow, cantaloupe-like, tough, juicy flesh, 3/4 in (2 cm) thick. In the central cavity, there is softer pulp, a soft, fleshy core, and numerous flat, oval seeds, 5/8 in (16 mm) long and 1/4 in (6 mm) wide, light-brown bordered with a dark-brown stripe, in tightly-packed rows extending the entire length of the fruit.
The fruit is long and cylindrical. Think overgrown cucumber, with a very tough skin and what is said to be a lovely aromatic smell. In fact, many people use the long-lasting fruit to freshen the smell of a room. The fruit is either cooked prematurely like squash, or allowed to ripen and used fresh, in drinks, pies, or preserves. It’s said to have a sweet tropical flavor.