Never heard of this? a lovely annual climber with tiny flowers loved by bees and hover flies followed by unusual edible fruits, great in salads or stir fries.
Grows outside so no need for a greenhouse or conservatory to get these fruits.
We got the first seeds from Garden Organic Heritage Seed Library. The seeds are strange looking, flat and a bit like broken “shreddies”.
A tender annual which seem to germinate quite quickly so we sow them in modules in April and can be planted out when all chance of frost is gone. By the end of July and into August, September and until first frost, the fruits are appearing. Best eaten small in salads (2-3 cms) but if they get missed (they are the same colour as the foliage ) and grow larger then they can be used by removing seeds and using in stir fries, curries etc. Do not let them get more than about 5 cms . Remove the seeds before cooking if they do get too big as they will have set seed and then the plant stops producing more fruit.
The first achocha we grew was Cyclanthera pedata – ladies slipper and each year save some seed so have never been without them for several years now.
Last year we got the seeds of Cylanthera brachystachya – fat baby from the heritage seed library. They produce the cute looking fruits and do have different foliage to ladies slipper.
Keep picking and you could get a wonderful yield, last year we had 870 fruits from about 10 plants, grown quite close together up pigeon netting attached between two posts of the pergola. Makes a lovely screen with the advantage of attracting pollinating insects and you get the fruit. Will survive outside until the first frosts so make sure you keep a couple of large fruits for next years seeds.
I have read somewhere that the fruit is very good for reducing cholesterol but do not know if this has been scientifically tested!