Scientific name: Cucumis sativus L.

English name: Garden Cucumber

Local names: ‘Khira’, ‘Shasha’







Taxonomic Position (according to Cronquist, 1981)


Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Sub-class: Dilleniidae
Order: Violales
Genus: Cucumis
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.

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