i got a starter plant in june from our local west indian grocery store. it grew into a nice climbing vine in half a whiskey barrel on our jc front porch. the fruit starts out firm and green but will turn to squishy squash yellow and fall to pieces spewing a red mess with rugged looking melon seeds. i went back to the store today and asked them the name of the plant as id forgotten what they called it. bitter melon. he said you had to eat it green and that its good fried. he reiterated the medicinal values. they also sell commercially packaged extracts in the store. im collecting the seeds.