Canteloupes, Cucumbers Crossbreed in Louisiana Garden

They're a yard long and a good few inches across. The skin is waxy, sort of like a cucumber, but yellow and ridged like a canteloupe.

A half dozen of them grew between the cucumbers and cantaloupes in a Houma home garden.

"We call it a cuculoupe," Karen Dusenbery said.

As good a name as any.

"Science is strange sometimes," Louisiana State University Agriculture Center agent Barton Joffrion said after examining the whatsits.

"You see crosses like that. What happens is they planted them close in proximity, and they are in the same family," said Joffrion. "But it's not that common."

Both are members of the Cucurbit family, which includes pumpkins and gourds as well as melons and cucumbers.

Cucumbers and cantaloupes are closely related enough to swap genes, Joffrion said. He'd never seen anything like the Dusenberys' whatever.

"In the first generation, they'll cross and you'll get an unusual fruit," Joffrion said.

The firm flesh inside is yellow and somewhat sweet but has a flavor more like cucumber than cantaloupe, Tim Dusenbery said.

The Dusenberys said they are saving the seeds and hope to get more next year.

However, Joffrion said a crossbred plant usually reverts back to one of its original forms in subsequent generations.

"It'll be interesting to see what it does revert to," Joffrion said.