Know your Cucumber

  • The cucumber (Cucumis sativus) is a widely cultivated plant in the gourd family Cucurbitaceae, which includes squash, and is in the same genus as the muskmelon.

  • The cucumber is a creeping vine that roots in the ground and grows up trellises or other supporting frames, wrapping around ribbing with thin, spiraling tendrils. 

  • The plant has large leaves that form a canopy over the fruit.

  • The fruit is roughly cylindrical, elongated, with tapered ends, and may be as large as 60 cm long and 10 cm in diameter. 

  • Cucumbers grown to be eaten fresh (called slicers) and those intended for pickling (called picklers) are similar. 

  • Cucumbers are mainly eaten in the unripe green form. 

  • The ripe yellow form normally becomes too bitter and sour. 

  • Cucumbers are usually over 90% water.

  • Having an enclosed seed and developing from a flower, botanically speaking, cucumbers are classified as fruits. 

  • However, much like tomatoes and squash they are usually perceived, prepared and eaten as vegetables.