Q: I propagate pomegranates as a hobby. I am quite familiar with the shrub that bears large fruit filled with sticky red seeds each fall.
My question concerns a plant everybody in north Georgia calls a pomegranate but it grows on a vine. The fruit is ping pong sized, orange in color and loaded with seed.
The most outstanding trait is the very strong incense odor. Do you know what it is?
A: I don’t know what it is, but I am fortunate to have a friend who does. Wayne McLaurin, the Extension Service’s organic database of esoteric plants and their common names, says you have a Queen Anne’s Pocketbook Melon. It is a close relative of the grocery store muskmelon.
The scientific name of your vine is Cucumis melo var. Dudaim. It is also known as Pomegranate Melon – which explains why your neighbors call it a pomegranate. Its third name is Stink Melon because it was used by oldtimers to mask certain odors in the bathroom.
Its fourth name is plumgranny (or plum granny)….perhaps because granny’s kept one in their pocket.