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Cucumis anguria - L.

Common Name Gherkin, West Indian gherkin
Family Cucurbitaceae
USDA hardiness 9-11
Known Hazards The sprouting seed produces a toxic substance in its embryo[65].
Habitats Not known in the wild.
Range Probably originated in Tropical America but not known in a truly wild condition. Possibly a cultigen
Edibility Rating    (3 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating    (1 of 5)
Care (info)
Tender Moist Soil Full sun
Cucumis anguria Gherkin, West Indian gherkin


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Eugenio_Hansen,_OFS
Cucumis anguria Gherkin, West Indian gherkin
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Eugenio_Hansen,_OFS

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Cucumis anguria is a ANNUAL CLIMBER growing to 2.4 m (7ft 10in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 10 and is frost tender. It is in flower from July to September, and the seeds ripen from August to October. The species is monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and is pollinated by Insects. The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Habitats

 Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit  Leaves  Seed
Edible Uses:

Fruit - raw, cooked or pickled[1, 2, 27, 46, 61]. A very agreeable cucumber flavour without any bitterness[183, K]. It can be used in salads or as part of a savoury dish. The fruit is frequently soaked in vinegar to make a pickle, it absorbs a large quantity of vinegar[183]. The fruit is up to 5cm long and 4cm wide[200]. Seed - raw. Rich in oil with a nutty flavour but very fiddly because it is rather small and covered with a fibrous seedcoat[57, 86, K]. Young leaves - cooked[177, 183].

References

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Vermifuge

The seeds are vermifuge[7]. They are ground into a fine flour, then made into an emulsion with water and eaten. It is then necessary to take a purge in order to expel the tapeworms or other parasites from the body[7].

References

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Read More

FOOD FOREST PLANTS

Other Uses

None known

Special Uses

References

Cultivation details

Requires a rich, well-drained moisture retentive soil and a very warm, sunny and sheltered position. A frost-tender annual plant, the gherkin is frequently cultivated for its fruit in warm temperate and tropical areas of the world, but it only really succeeds in Britain when grown under protection[200]. There are many named varieties.

References

Temperature Converter

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Propagation

Seed - sow early to mid spring in a greenhouse in a rich soil. Germination should take place within 2 weeks. Sow 2 or 3 seeds per pot and thin out to the best plant. Grow them on fast and plant out after the last expected frosts, giving them cloche or frame protection for at least their first few weeks if you are trying them outdoors.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Gherkin, cackrey, maroon cucumber, West Indian gherkin, West Indian gourd, Bur cucumber, Cassongo, Chikanyanga, Chikopa, Chipokolo, Goareberry gourd, Ingolowe, Jerusalem cucumber, Kasongwe, Muchacha, Muhawa.

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Indigenous to Angola; Botswana; the Democratic Republic of the Congo; Malawi; Mozambique; Namibia; South Africa; Swaziland; Tanzania; Zambia; and Zimbabwe. Naturalized in: Anguilla; Antigua and Barbuda; Australia (Queensland); Barbados; Brazil; Cayman Islands; Costa Rica; Cuba; the Dominican Republic; Ecuador; French Guiana; Grenada; Guadeloupe; Guatemala; Haiti; Honduras; Jamaica; Madagascar; Martinique; Mexico; Netherlands Antilles; Nicaragua; Panama; Peru; Puerto Rico; Saint Lucia; Saint Vincent and Grenadines; Suriname; the United States - California, Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, Montana, New York, Oregon, Texas, and Washington; Venezuela; and both British and American Virgin Islands.

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

This plant can be weedy or invasive.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed.

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Cucumis meloMelon, CantaloupeAnnual Climber1.5 9-11  LMHNM420
Cucumis melo agrestisWild MelonAnnual Climber1.5 9-11  LMHNM32 
Cucumis melo cantalupensisCantaloupe MelonAnnual Climber1.5 9-11  LMHNM42 
Cucumis melo chitoOrange MelonAnnual Climber1.5 9-11  LMHNM32 
Cucumis melo conomonPickling MelonAnnual Climber1.5 9-11  LMHNM42 
Cucumis melo flexuosusSerpent MelonAnnual Climber1.5 9-11  LMHNM42 
Cucumis melo inodorusHoneydew MelonAnnual Climber1.5 9-11  LMHNM42 
Cucumis melo momordicaSnap MelonAnnual Climber1.5 9-11  LMHNM42 
Cucumis metuliferusHorned Cucumber, African horned cucumberAnnual Climber1.5 9-11  LMHNM22 
Cucumis sativusCucumber, Garden cucumberAnnual Climber2.0 9-11  LMHNM42 

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.

 

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Botanical References

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