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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  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating  
Care
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 Jul to September, and the seeds ripen from Aug to October. The species is monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and are 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.

Synonyms

Habitats

Cultivated Beds.

Not known in the wild.

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].

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].

Other Uses

None known

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.

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 NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Cucumis meloMelon, Cantaloupe42
Cucumis melo agrestisWild Melon32
Cucumis melo cantalupensisCantaloupe Melon42
Cucumis melo chitoOrange Melon32
Cucumis melo conomonPickling Melon42
Cucumis melo flexuosusSerpent Melon42
Cucumis melo inodorusHoneydew Melon42
Cucumis melo momordicaSnap Melon42
Cucumis metuliferusHorned Cucumber, African horned cucumber22
Cucumis sativusCucumber, Garden cucumber42

 

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Expert comment

Author

L.

Botanical References

200

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