Appalachia Gardening

A Plumgranny

Plumgranny

A few months ago, Gary Powell asked me if I had ever seen a plumgranny. I said “not only have I never seen one-I’ve never even heard of one!” Gary was nice enough to send me 2.

Our mailbox is a ways from the house-so we don’t check it unless we’re going out or coming in. When Gary’s gift arrived-it sat in the mailbox for a day or so. Even though the plumgrannys were sealed in a box-when I opened the mailbox I could smell them-and oh its a good smell-a very good smell.

What is a plumgranny

Cucumis melo var. dudaim-better known as Plumgrannys belong to the melon family. As I Googled around I found varying opinions on whether the small melon is edible. However all sources were in agreement-that plumgrannys blow the top off the smell meter-yet barely raise the meter when it comes to taste.

Other common names for plumgrannys: pomegranate, ornamental pomegranate, tigger melon, vegetable peach, apple melon, and perhaps most famously Queen Anne’s Pocket Melon (she supposedly carried one in her pocket to ensure she smelled like a Queen).

Plumgrannys grow on a cucumber like vine and will grow well on a trellis or you can simply let the vine roam across the ground where it will.

You can go here: Plumgrannies An Aromatic Plant to read an especially interesting article written by Patsy Watts.

The best thing about Gary’s gift-well other than having my kitchen smell heavenly for over a week-is that now I have my own plumgranny seeds-and I can’t wait to see how many I can grow next summer.

Ever smelled a plumgranny?

Tipper

 

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29 Comments

  • Reply
    Robert D. Shepherd
    September 3, 2019 at 3:25 pm

    What a wonderful article!!! Thank you!!! My grandmother in Southern Kentucky used to keep these in her chest of drawers., where they gave the clothes a delightful smell!!!

  • Reply
    Sharon
    September 17, 2013 at 1:16 pm

    My cousin has grown the plum granny right here n Franklin. They r savin all the seeds n spreading the plum granny around, hoping to keep them around since we read they are close to being extinct..and they are beautiful and smell so wonderful!!

  • Reply
    Theresa
    August 19, 2012 at 3:02 am

    I’ve never heard of them…do they smell like anything else so I’d know if I’d like the smell? Curiosity is my greatest virtue.

  • Reply
    Vicki Lane
    November 30, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    Oh, my! I’ll have to see if I can find some seeds — hadn’t heard of them.

  • Reply
    Betty Cloer Wallace
    November 30, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    Tipper, over near Franklin my mother and all our neighbors grew plumgrannies during the 1950s and kept bowls of them around the house for the good smell, but I had forgotten all about them! Thanks for the reminder of a good thing. Now I’m determined to get some seeds and start growing them again. My mother would line up a row in the kitchen window so the sun would warm them and really intensify the good smell.

  • Reply
    Becky
    November 5, 2011 at 8:03 am

    I’ve never heard of them either. I would love to grow these! If you get them to grow for you next year, be sure to save me some seeds!

  • Reply
    My Carolina Kitchen
    November 4, 2011 at 8:24 am

    I too have not only never seen one or smelled one, I haven’t heard of them either. Too bad they don’t rate high in the taste department. However, they would make fabulous fall decorations for your home. Can’t wait to see how your seeds turn out Tipper.
    Sam

  • Reply
    SandyCarlson (USA)
    November 3, 2011 at 10:57 pm

    I am glad he sent these to you and taught us all something! That is a pretty and fragrant fruit, to be sure.

  • Reply
    Osagebluffquilter
    November 3, 2011 at 10:03 pm

    I’ve never heard of them or seen one. I can’t wait to see yur crop next year.

  • Reply
    RB
    November 3, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    Nope, nor seen nor ate one either.
    God bless.
    RB
    <><

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    November 3, 2011 at 6:44 pm

    Never heard of them, I would love to see one.

  • Reply
    LINDA L. KERLIN
    November 3, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    With the look of such a beautiful ornamental fruit–one now needs to know if they only grow in the south or if they could be grown up here in Penna.? And just where does one find seeds–perhaps,Tipper ye shall have to grow some and then sell us northern folks some seeds? Linda Kerlin

  • Reply
    Ken
    November 3, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    Tipper,
    I’m glad we know now what it is.
    Perhaps Gary did the fitting thing
    since its the fruit of a Queen.
    Hope they grow well come planting
    time. I’d bet there’ll be lots of
    those at your house next November.
    …Ken

  • Reply
    Ethel
    November 3, 2011 at 11:24 am

    I’ve never heard of them either, but I can see that it would be a gorgeous ornamental plant, and I love to grow anything that smells sweet! I will be doing some googling myself, to see if they can be grown this far north, please let us know how it works for you next year!

  • Reply
    Kimberly Burnette
    November 3, 2011 at 11:17 am

    I have never smelled, tasted, seen or even heard of a plumgranny! How interesting!

  • Reply
    Tipper
    November 3, 2011 at 10:56 am

    Karen-no the skin is thicker than a plum-more like an apple.
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Celebrating and Preserving the
    Culture of Appalachia
    http://www.blindpigandtheacorn.com

  • Reply
    Stacey
    November 3, 2011 at 10:54 am

    I’m curious now as to weather they would grow here in Southwestern, PA. I’m dying to smell one now. I’ll look them up and see what I can do about getting some Plumgrannies in my garden next year!
    Stacey
    SWPA

  • Reply
    Karen Larsen
    November 3, 2011 at 10:29 am

    These are beautiful looking fruits. I’d love to grow them for the smell alone. Are they soft skinned like a plum? They look like they might be.
    In the fall, I like to gather osage oranges (or I think they’re also called hedge apples). They are funny looking bumpy and yellow-green and look perfect for the Halloween season. But they don’t smell good at all! I keep them outside to look nice til they turn brown.

  • Reply
    Lanie
    November 3, 2011 at 10:23 am

    I’ve never heard of those either…or smelled them.

  • Reply
    sandra
    November 3, 2011 at 10:10 am

    never seen, smelled or heard of until your post. cute little guys they are, i bet they look good hanging on a fence or trellis. good luck with the seed we will be waiting to see them this time next year

  • Reply
    PinnacleCreek
    November 3, 2011 at 9:58 am

    I must try that. I have already googled a site where they are sold. I like to try one unusual vegetable each year, and especially ones grown by old timers. This past year I grew Cushaws (green striped and white)which can also be called Kershaw.
    I have looked hard for Permelon (sp) seeds and cannot find but one sold-out place that had them. I was given a permelon years ago and made a wonderful pie. I save seeds from all this as never know when a friend will want to try. I just love this site , as it is like coming home.

  • Reply
    Mamabug
    November 3, 2011 at 9:53 am

    This is definitely something new to me Tipper. Wish I could smell it!

  • Reply
    Uncle Al
    November 3, 2011 at 9:47 am

    Can’t say that I’ve heard of or seen one. Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply
    EBet
    November 3, 2011 at 9:05 am

    Nope, I can’t say I have ever smelled a plumgranny, in fact up ’till now I have never even heard of the thing! Thank you for sharing.

  • Reply
    Tipper
    November 3, 2011 at 9:02 am

    Bev-no gourds here : ) Did you grow any?
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Celebrating and Preserving the
    Culture of Appalachia
    http://www.blindpigandtheacorn.com

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    November 3, 2011 at 8:57 am

    Thank you, Gary Powell, for bringing Plumgranny’s to the Blind Pig. I’ve never seen one, smelled one or even heard of it.
    I’ve always wondered what a queen smelled like so next year when Tipper grows those seeds I’ll get to find out. LOL

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    November 3, 2011 at 8:48 am

    Tipper,
    This would have been the year for growing Plumgrannys on our place..It seems that the watery vegetables and fruits did well in this area…
    I think the Plumgranny is a gorgeous fruit…and wonderful smell…
    Just think only two months until seed catalogs start rolling in..
    Thanks Tipper, PS…Did you grow any gourds?

  • Reply
    Mary Jo
    November 3, 2011 at 8:44 am

    Plumgrannies smell oh, so good!!! I haven’t had any for a few years! Wish they tasted as good as they smell!! I haven’t ever tried to grown them but everyone grew them when I was a kid so they could give them away by the dozens!!

  • Reply
    Bill Burnett
    November 3, 2011 at 7:35 am

    Like I said yesterday the taste of the plumgranny is a big let down. As most curious children will I figured anything that smelled so good would be a taste treat also. Well I was disappointed as the taste is nowhere as pleasant as the aroma. If the seeds are properly dried they germinate well and are easy to grow. I used a haylot next to our barn as my garden to grow the plumgrannys, this ground was rich due to it’s proximity to the barn so very little fertilizer was needed, the fact that this was black loamy soil near the Little Tennessee River helped also. This is a smell that I will always remember, in fact when I saw the picture yesterday I could smell the pleasant aroma in my mind even though it’s been fifty years since I grew any Plumgrannies. Thanks again.

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