Mouth-Watering Watery Fruit – Cucumber

Please say that you too are surprised to know that cucumber is a fruit! ‘Cause I don’t want to be the unaware soul! Yes I admit…slew of years from now…I had the impression that that cucumber is a vegetable…Reason…is obvious…I always had and saw cucumber used in garnishing meals and salads…and never FRUIT SALADS!

Hmm…Anyway…Now that you also know that cucumber is a fruit…Then have a deeper look at its inside…

Cucumis sativus…That is how cucumber is technically…formally known…is an annual cimber growing to 2 m (that is around 6ft 7in)

It is hardy to zone 10 and is frost tender…It is in flower from Jul to September…and the seeds ripen from Aug to October…The flowers are monoecious (Well…it simply means that 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…

The plant prefers –

  • light (sandy)
  • medium (loamy)
  • heavy (clay) soils

Also…It requires well-drained soil…The plant prefers acid…neutral and basic (alkaline) soils…It cannot grow in the shade…It requires moist soil…

This amazing fruit can be consumed raw or even cooked…The cucumber is a common ingredient of salads…being valued mainly for its crisp texture and juiciness…However…it is very watery…with little flavour and is not very nutritious…Many people find the fruit to be indigestible…this is due to the high cellulose content…The fruit varies widely in size between cultivars but can be up to 1 metre long…It can be available from midsummer until early autumn from outdoor grown plants….Rich in oil with a nutty flavour but very fiddly to use because the seed is small and covered with a fibrous coat…Young leaves and stems…cooked as a potherb…Oil from seed…Said to resemble olive oil…it is used in salad dressings and French cooking…The oil contains –

  • 22.3% linoleic acid
  • 58.5% oleic acid
  • 6.8% palmitic acid
  • 3.7% stearic acid

As far as nurturing of the plant is concerned….It requires a rich…well-drained moisture retentive soil and a warm very sunny position…A frost-tender plant…the cucumber is commonly cultivated for its edible fruit…there are many named varieties…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…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…Cucumbers make good companion plants for sweet corn…beans and sunflowers…but they dislike growing with potatoes and aromatic herbs…The roots of cucumber plants secrete a substance that inhibits the growth of most weeds…

Okay…Now have a look at our reference links…

  1. Cucumber Oil by Herb Info
  2. Home Remedies by Natural Skin Care
  3. Cool Cucumber by Aromatherapy

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