Cucumber 'Mexican Gherkin'
Also known as
Mouse Gherkin, Cucamelon
Photo by Davey93 (All rights reserved)
This plant has a mild fragrance
Cucumber 'Mexican Gherkin' Overview
Melothria scabra is better known by the common names Cucamelon or Mouse Melon, amongst others. It is a climbing, herbaceous perennial plant from the Cucurbitaceae family, often grown as an annual. This unique and incredible small gherkin species has watermelon looking fruit. They are great once pickled as they have a lemony cucumber taste that works great in salads. The fruits ripen from late summer-autumn. This species is a great new addition to any home garden as it has a vigorous growth habit, tremendously large yield and is pest free. The crunchy fruits can reach anywhere from 2.5-4cm in length, they are dark green in colour with mottled bands of lighter green. It can grow to 3m in height, producing textured, lobed green leaves measuring between 3-7cm in length. Flowers are small and coloured yellow, appearing into the summer and leading onto edible, rounded fruits.
Common problems with Cucumber 'Mexican Gherkin'
This plant is generally pest and disease resistant. If spider mites, aphids and other small pests start affecting your crop, spray with warm soapy water. Plant pests only tend to affect this plant if given the incorrect growing conditions. Try giving the plant more sun, or allow the soil to dry out in between waterings.
How to harvest Cucumber 'Mexican Gherkin'
Harvest the fruits when the colour is bright green (crisp and fresh taste), and before the fruit starts to turn yellow (sour and chewy).
How to propagate Cucumber 'Mexican Gherkin'
Sow seeds at a depth of 5 mm and space them 30 to 40 cm apart, when weather is above 20 degrees Celsius.
Special features of Cucumber 'Mexican Gherkin'
Attracts useful insects
It attracts bees and beetles.
Great in any sized pot for any sunny position. Can grow well in a balcony, as it can use the railing for support.
Other uses of Cucumber 'Mexican Gherkin'
The fruits are used once sliced in salads, chopped into salsas or pickled.