The Temperate Database is in the process of being updated, with new records being added and old ones being checked and brought up to date where necessary. This record has not yet been checked and updated.
Common Name: Gherkin
Cucumis anguria is a Annual Climber up to 2.40 metres tall.
It has edible and medicinal uses.
The sprouting seed produces a toxic substance in its embryo[
Probably originated in Tropical America but not known in a truly wild condition. Possibly a cultigen
Not known in the wild.
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[
]. There are many named varieties.
Fruit - raw, cooked or pickled[
]. A very agreeable cucumber flavour without any bitterness[
]. 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[
]. The fruit is up to 5cm long and 4cm wide[
Seed - raw. Rich in oil with a nutty flavour but very fiddly because it is rather small and covered with a fibrous seedcoat[
Young leaves - cooked[
The seeds are vermifuge[
]. 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[
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.