Pepino Dulce Melon Plant (Solanum muricatum). Perennial.
This is a new plant for us, but looks like fun. It is reported to be a relatively hardy plant with sweet, delicate, and mild flavored fruit that can be cooked or eaten as a fresh snack. Excellent addition to fruit salads, breakfast cereals, or even as desert.
Native to South America, and once popular in San Diego in the late 1800's, this fruit resembles a melon with hints of honeydew and cucumber flavor. It is a relative to eggplant with fruit the size of an egg, although sometimes as big as a large goose egg. It is also called the "tree melon" even though the evergreen plant is not a tree, but more of a shrub or ground cover plant. The fruit itself does not travel well, so while it is popular in South America, it is usually only makes it to upscale markets of Japan, Europe, and North America.
This fruit is soft and pulpy with small, tough seeds in the center. When ripe the skin is usually deep yellow with purple lines. The bright orange flesh is sweet, juicy and refreshing. It prefers warm, climates with no or minimal frosts. Short frosts and freezes just below 30 degrees Fahrenheit can be tolerated, but the plant will likely drop many of its leaves. Can be grown indoors and adapts well to greenhouse cultivation, with up 6 ft tall plants and increased yields.