Growing stuff on hot concrete – gardening in tropical Penang – the skypumpkin

I compost the remains of fruit and vegetables, and this supplies nutrients to the soil, and also some plants come up from the seeds in the compost. Most of such plants do not survive long, but occasionally something does.  Sometimes passionfruit do, papaya very often do, and recently a vine has been prolifically growing, presumably from seeds from the compost.

The vine spread first on the ground, and then started climbing, and quickly grew around the passion fruit vines, and up high. Then big yellow flowers appeared.  They dropped off after a few days.

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Later a small green vegetable started growing, with a flower on top of it.  It is like a small courgette or pumpkin.

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I couldn’t pick it as it was firmly attached to the vine. Eventually, after a few days it turned yellow, and then a day later yellow/brown, and it could easily be picked. But by that time it seemed to be already decomposing inside – so no longer suitable for eating.

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So we cut them off while green, and tried eating a little – we didn’t want to poison ourselves.  The taste is like a rich courgette.  We didn’t get sick.

with teaspoon

with teaspoon

We have no idea what it is, and whatever it grew from is not what we composted. Perhaps it is the natural form of something we eat, and has reverted to type.



  1. This is a pumpkin plant you’ve got in your garden! The bright yellow flowers fall off within a matter of days – that leaves little time for the pollination period. You are blessed to have had the fruit even though it didn’t grow to maturity. I have been trying to grow pumpkins for a while but have been unsuccessful so far – no bees in my garden to do the pollination. Next time it flowers I will attempt manual pollination. Thanks for sharing ur farming experiences 🙂

    1. Hi. There seem to be male and female flowers. The male ones are on a long stalk, and the female ones grow on a small pumpkin. I found you have to wait for a long time for success. I also grow plants that have flowers and attract bees. It is now very dry and when I water many bees come to get water from the leaves. So fortunately there are always bees.

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