Scientific name: Cucumis sativus L.
English name: Garden Cucumber
Local names: ‘Khira’, ‘Shasha’
Taxonomic Position (according to Cronquist, 1981)
|Species||: C. sativus|
Botanical Description of Cucumber
Habit: An annual, climbing herb.
Root: Tap root system
Stem: Stem prostrate, hirsute. Tendrils slender, simple.
Leaf: Leaves broadly cordate-ovate, 12-20 cm long and as much as broad, villose-hispid, 5-7 nerved, palmately 3-5lobed, lobes triangular, dentate, acute, petioles 8-20 cm long, robust, elongate, hispid.
Flower: Plants monoecious. Male flowers: fasciculate, peduncles slender, 5-20 mm long, calyx tube narrowly campanulate, villose-hirsute, 8-10 mm long, lobes subulate, spreading, corolla yellow-white, 2-3 cm long lobes oblong-lanceolate, acute, stamens 3, filaments very short, anthers 3-4 mm long, appendix of connective c l mm long. Female flowers: solitary or fasciculate, peduncles robust, 1-2 cm long, calyx and corolla as in the male, ovary usually 3- placentiferous, often fusiform, muricate, aculeate, tumid, hairs rigid, pungent, style short.
Fruit: Oblong, obscurely trigonous or cylindric, yellowish- green, glabrous, young fruits tuberculate. Seeds 7- 10 x 3-5 mm, whitish, oblong, both ends subacute.
Economic importance: The immature fruits are used as a salad vegetable. The large, mature fruits are used in curries. The seeds have cooling, tonic and diuretic properties.