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Cucumis metuliferus - E.Mey. ex Naudin.

Common Name Horned Cucumber, African horned cucumber
Family Cucurbitaceae
USDA hardiness 9-11
Known Hazards The sprouting seed produces a toxic substance in its embryo[65].
Habitats Not known
Range S. Africa.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Tender Moist Soil Full sun
Cucumis metuliferus Horned Cucumber, African horned cucumber


Cucumis metuliferus Horned Cucumber, African horned cucumber

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Cucumis metuliferus is a ANNUAL CLIMBER growing to 1.5 m (5ft).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 10 and is frost tender. It is in flower from Jul to September, and the seeds ripen from Aug to October. The species is monoecious (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.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

Synonyms

Habitats

 Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit;  Leaves;  Seed.
Edible Uses:

Fruit - raw[2, 46, 61]. Insipid according to one report[200], whilst another says that it is rather bitter[105]. Said to have a banana-lime flavour and often sold in speciality stores in Europe and America, the fruit is not considered to be very desirable in its native area and it is only eaten in times of scarcity[183]. Seed - raw[57, 86]. Rich in oil with a nutty flavour but very fiddly to use because the seed is small and covered with a fibrous coat[K]. Leaves - cooked[177, 183].

Medicinal Uses



Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Vermifuge.

The seeds are vermifuge[7]. They are ground into a fine flour, then made into an emulsion with water and eaten. It is then necessary to take a purge in order to expel the tapeworms or other parasites from the body[7].

Other Uses

Rootstock.

Used as a rootstock for C. sativus, conferring disease resistance[183]. Since this species is less cold tolerant than C, sativus, it is probably not suitable as a rootstock in cool temperate areas.

Cultivation details

Requires a rich, well-drained moisture retentive soil and a very warm, sunny sheltered position[200]. A frost-tender plant, the horned cucumber is frequently cultivated for its fruit in tropical and sub-tropical climates, there are some named varieties. It requires a hotter summer than is normally experienced in Britain in order to produce a worthwhile crop and is generally best grown in a greenhouse in this country[61, 200].

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.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Cucumis anguriaGherkin, West Indian gherkin31
Cucumis meloMelon, Cantaloupe42
Cucumis melo agrestisWild Melon32
Cucumis melo cantalupensisCantaloupe Melon42
Cucumis melo chitoOrange Melon32
Cucumis melo conomonPickling Melon42
Cucumis melo flexuosusSerpent Melon42
Cucumis melo inodorusHoneydew Melon42
Cucumis melo momordicaSnap Melon42
Cucumis sativusCucumber, Garden cucumber42

 

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Expert comment

Author

E.Mey. ex Naudin.

Botanical References

200

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

   Tue Mar 27 2007

Eaten green as a cucumber substitute in South Africa, in my opinion the best thing ever to happen to a salad! Fruit should be harvested at full size but before they turn orange.

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Subject : Cucumis metuliferus  
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