A few months ago, I planted some flower seeds that looked like they were designed for wind dispersal: very light, thin, and elongated (a little shorter than one of my finger joints). Mostly black with a bit of white, if I recall correctly.

They took so long to germinate that I thought the seeds were bad. Then they started growing very quickly, and right now they grow about one or two inches per day. The vines have those little tendrils to grab on to things, so I'm not sure if it is a climbing plant.

I don't remember what kind of seeds they were. Can someone tell me what this plant is and how to best deal with it? I was expecting relatively contained, bushy flowers, but the vines are invading my sidewalk and the flowers are tiny.

If it matters, I live in a tropical environment and the seeds were from one of those little packets like they sell at Walmart.


Vine on grass

Vine on sidewalk


Flower close-up

EDIT December 17: Just over 25 pounds. :-) Thanks, all.


  • What did you believe they were when you planted them?
    – Bamboo
    Oct 8, 2016 at 22:49
  • 1
    Now I've remembered (its taken 8 minutes to drag the info out of my brain cells)- the seeds you describe sound like Tagetes patula seeds (though that's not what these plants are) is this what they looked like hillwards.wordpress.com/2010/10/03/green-and-gold/tagetes-seeds
    – Bamboo
    Oct 8, 2016 at 22:57
  • @Bamboo I expected them to be flowers, from what the packet said, but I don't remember exactly what type of flower. The seeds in that link look very much like the ones I planted (I think those are the ones), and the name of the flower (French marigold) rings a bell. But you're saying that's not my plant?
    – Pedro
    Oct 9, 2016 at 0:06
  • Gonna do an answer...
    – Bamboo
    Oct 9, 2016 at 0:24

2 Answers 2


This is definitely (I should never say definitely) but when I first saw your pictures I thought squash. This looks like WATERMELON! How long ago did you take these pictures? Any signs of little gourds? A member of the Cucurbitaceae family. watermelon plants

  • 41vzaUijAoL._AC_US240_FMwebp_QL65_.jpg check this out to match your seeds that you remember. shop411.com/…
    – stormy
    Oct 8, 2016 at 21:45
  • shoot I tried to send you a picture of SQUARE Watermelons!! They look like huge absolutely square candles painted like a watermelon. Unbelievable...
    – stormy
    Oct 8, 2016 at 21:50
  • google.com/…
    – stormy
    Oct 8, 2016 at 21:51
  • No, I actually have watermelons planted in the yard and they were definitely different seeds. These mystery vines are much thicker, too. Interesting that you can make your own square watermelons, though. I took the pictures earlier this week.
    – Pedro
    Oct 8, 2016 at 22:08
  • 1
    Those pictures do look like my plant (when I said the vines were thicker, I meant thicker than the ones in my yard, but the combination of bad soil and curious dogs might have to do with the thin vines), but there was only one type of seed in the packet. I suppose it's possible that the black-and-white seeds I planted really didn't grow and some watermelon seeds got in there. Fruits should start to appear in a couple of weeks if that's the case.
    – Pedro
    Oct 9, 2016 at 0:38

From the description you've given of the seeds you planted, they sound very much like the seeds of Tagetes patula, commonly known as French marigold. You've confirmed that the seeds shown in the image here do look similar to the ones you planted https://hillwards.wordpress.com/2010/10/03/green-and-gold/tagetes-seeds/

Clearly, that's not what you've got growing judging by the images you've posted, so its likely the plants you have are self set/volunteers and nothing to do with the seeds you planted. If you've grown melons in previous years, these may be from those, if seeds from inside the melons somehow got onto the soil - but the seeds don't come true, so they won't necessarily be the same as the melons you've grown before.

Tagetes should grow if sown outside in warmer regions, but in most countries, its usual to start them off with heat in seed trays or flats - it may be the conditions just weren't right for the seeds you sowed and that's why they didn't grow.

Next time you sow seeds, put a few in a pot in potting compost as well as sowing directly into the ground - that way, if they germinate, you'll know what they look like as seedlings and will be able to tell them apart from weeds or unwanted plants when seedlings start growing in the ground.

  • Thank you, that's a good suggestion for identifying seedlings. Two similar answers have been posted, so I'll go with the assumption of watermelons for now. I am upvoting both answers but will wait to see if anyone else chimes in before accepting one. If they do turn out to be watermelons, I'll be pleasantly surprised, though I probably won't plant them there again. :-)
    – Pedro
    Oct 9, 2016 at 0:54
  • I upvoted the other answer anyway - they do look somewhat like watermelons, and I don't know what else they could be - but it will be interesting to see, if you get fruits, quite what they look like. My answer's more about what the seeds you planted might have been;-)
    – Bamboo
    Oct 9, 2016 at 12:17

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