Herb: Gherkin

Latin name: Cucumis anguria

Family: Cucurbitaceae (Cucumber Family, Gourd Family)

Medicinal use of Gherkin:

The seeds are vermifuge. 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.

Description of the plant:

Annual Climber

2.4 m
(7 3/4 foot)

July to

Habitat of the herb:

Not known in the wild.

Edible parts of Gherkin:

Fruit - raw, cooked or pickled. A very agreeable cucumber flavour without any bitterness. It can be used in salads or as part of a savoury dish. The fruit is frequently soaked in vinegar to make a pickle, it absorbs a large quantity of vinegar. The fruit is up to 5cm long and 4cm wide. Seed - raw. Rich in oil with a nutty flavour but very fiddly because it is rather small and covered with a fibrous seedcoat. Young leaves - cooked.

Propagation of the herb:

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.

Cultivation of Gherkin:

Not known in the wild.

Known hazards of Cucumis anguria:

The sprouting seed produces a toxic substance in its embryo.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.