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Uses

Toxic parts

The sprouting seed produces a toxic substance in its embryo[1].

Edible uses

Notes

Fruit - raw or cooked. The cucumber is a common ingredient of salads, being valued mainly for its crisp texture and juiciness[2][3][4][5]. However, it is very watery, with little flavour and is not very nutritious[K]. Many people find the fruit to be indigestible, this is due to the high cellulose content[4]. The fruit varies widely in size between cultivars but can be up to 1 metre long. It can be available from mid summer until early autumn from outdoor grown plants.

Seed - raw[6][7]. Rich in oil with a nutty flavour but very fiddly to use because the seed is small and covered with a fibrous coat[K]. Young leaves and stems - cooked as a potherb.

Oil from seed[8]. Said to resemble olive oil, it is used in salad dressings and French cooking[9]. The oil contains 22.3% linoleic acid, 58.5% oleic acid, 6.8% palmitic acid and 3.7% stearic acid[10].

Fruit

Leaves

Unknown part

Oil

Material uses

Cucumber skins have been shown to repel cockroaches in laboratory experiments[10]. The fruit is applied to the skin as a cleansing cosmetic to soften and whiten it[11][4][12]. The juice is used in many beauty products[11][4].

Unknown part

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

The leaf juice is emetic, it is used to treat dyspepsia in children[10].

The fruit is depurative, diuretic, emollient, purgative and resolvent[4][13][14][10]. The fresh fruit is used internally in the treatment of blemished skin, heat rash etc, whilst it is used externally as a poultice for burns, sores etc and also as a cosmetic for softening the skin[10][12]. The seed is cooling, diuretic, tonic and vermifuge[11][10]. 25 - 50 grams of the thoroughly ground seeds (including the seed coat) is a standard dose as a vermifuge and usually needs to be followed by a purgative to expel the worms from the body[11].

A decoction of the root is diuretic[10].

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Climber

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

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.

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Cucumis sativus. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.



Cultivation

Requires a rich, well-drained moisture retentive soil and a warm very sunny position[15].

A frost-tender plant, the cucumber is commonly cultivated for its edible fruit, there are many named varieties[5][9]. Many of these varieties are only suitable for protected cropping in Britain though there are a number that have been specifically bred for cool temperate areas and these succeed outdoors in most summers[15]. Many of the cultivars, especially the greenhouse forms, should have their male flowers removed in order to prevent fertilization, since the fertilized fruits have a bitter taste. A number of cultivars have been developed that only produce female flowers[16]. Cucumbers make good companion plants for sweet corn, beans and sunflowers[17], but they dislike growing with potatoes and aromatic herbs[18].

The roots of cucumber plants secrete a substance that inhibits the growth of most weeds[14].

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Cucumis sativus. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Cucumis sativus.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Cucumis sativus
Genus
Cucumis
Family
Cucurbitaceae
Imported References
Material uses & Functions
Botanic
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Functions
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
10
Heat Zone
?
Water
moderate
Sun
full sun
Shade
no shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Ecosystems
    Native Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Adapted Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Native Geographical Range
    None listed.
    Native Environment
    None listed.
    Ecosystem Niche
    Root Zone Tendancy
    None listed.
    Life
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    ?
    Herbaceous or Woody
    ?
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    ?
    Mature Size
    2 x meters
    Fertility
    Pollinators
    Flower Colour
    ?
    Flower Type

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