Herb: Bur Cucumber

Latin name: Sicyos angulatus

Family: Cucurbitaceae (Cucumber Family, Gourd Family)

Medicinal use of Bur Cucumber:

A decoction of the vine has been used in the treatment of venereal disease.

Description of the plant:

Annual Climber

8 m
(26 feet)

July to

Habitat of the herb:

River banks and damp yards.

Edible parts of Bur Cucumber:

Leaves - cooked. They can be cooked as greens. The fruit is said to be edible. Possibly the seed is edible but there is no flesh on the fruit, it is just a bristly skin around the seed. The fruit is about 1cm long and is borne in small clusters.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - sow in mid spring in a greenhouse. Germination should take place within 2 weeks. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots once they are large enough to handle. Make sure the compost is fairly rich and grow the plants fast. Plant them out after the last expected frosts and consider giving them some protection such as a cloche until they are growing away actively. The seed can also be sown in situ in late spring, though this sowing might not produce mature seeds and fruit in cool summers. Plants have self-sown in Cornwall.

Cultivation of Bur Cucumber:

River banks and damp yards.

Known hazards of Sicyos angulatus:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.