West indian gherkin is a member of the Cucumis family. Its botanical name is Cucumis anguria.
Cucumis anguria, also called the West Indian Gherkin, Burr Gherkin, Burr Cucumber, and locally known as badunga or cohombro, is a vine grown for its fruit used as a vegetable. It is similar and related to the common cucumber (C. sativus) and its cultivars are known as gherkins.
The fruit is typically 4-8 cm in length, 2-4 cm in diameter, and covered with pointed warts. Plants are originally from Africa. They are popular in Brazil, where they are used in the local version of cozido (meat-and-vegetable stew).1Blooms normally display as a colour very similar to Canary yellow and Titanium yellow and Burn Yellow. When mature, they grow to 2.0 cm (0.78 inches imperial) in diameter.The mature flowers take a single form, with an approximate petal count of 4. Its fruits normally ripen as a colour very similar to Dark spring green and Office Green. Leaves usually appear in Ao green and La Salle Green colour. It is a flowering edible vegetable and is treated mainly as an annual, so it grows best over the course of a single year. Keep in mind when planning your garden that West indian gherkin is known for growing to a viny habit. This plant tends to bloom in mid summer, followed by first harvests in late summer. If you would like to attract bees to your garden, consider growing this plant.
West indian gherkin is normally fairly low maintenance and quite easy to grow, as long as a level of basic care is provided throughout the year. Being aware of the basic soil, sun and water preferences will result in a happier and healthier plant.
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If growing season is short, only allow the plant to set five or six fruit.Position in a full sun / partial sun location and remember to water often. West indian gherkin is generally regarded as a tender plant, so it is really important to plant out well after your last frost date.
Requires a little warmth to germinate and is prone to damping off in the conditions are too dampSow at a depth of approx. 0.2 inches (0.5 cm) and aim for a distance of at least 1.30 feet (40.0 cm) between West indian gherkin plants. For optimal germination, soil temperature should be a minimum of 12°C / 54°F.
Pot on and grow on under protection. Plant out when three true leaves have grown. Best in a cold frame in cooler climatesWest indian gherkin is tender, so ensure you wait until all danger of frost has passed in your area before considering planting outside - as a guideline, the minimum temperature outside should be approximately 15°C / 59°F.
Gerkins are ready when they reach about six to eight cm in length. Harvesting encourages further flowering
These plants have been known to grow well alongside West indian gherkin so consider planting:
These plants will not grow well with West indian gherkin so avoid planting these within close proximity:
These problems, diseases and pests are known to affect West indian gherkin plants:
Overwatering causes rot or damping off
‘burr’ refers to the lumpy skin
Burr gherkin, Burr cucumber, Badunga, Cohombro