United States Edition

West indian gherkin        

Cucumis anguria

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).1

Blooms 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.

This plant info is provided by the myfolia gardener's wiki. All details about West indian gherkin have been kindly provided by our members.

How to grow West indian gherkin

  • Full Sun

    OR +
  • Partial Sun

  • High

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.

See our list of companion Plants for West indian gherkin to see which plants you should plant in close proximity to encourage growth.

Growing West indian gherkin from seed

Requires a little warmth to germinate and is prone to damping off in the conditions are too damp

Sow 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.

Transplanting West indian gherkin

Pot on and grow on under protection. Plant out when three true leaves have grown. Best in a cold frame in cooler climates

West 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.

Harvesting West indian gherkin

Gerkins are ready when they reach about six to eight cm in length. Harvesting encourages further flowering

Common West indian gherkin problems

These problems, diseases and pests are known to affect West indian gherkin plants:

Overwatering causes rot or damping off

West indian gherkin Etymology

‘burr’ refers to the lumpy skin

Other names for West indian gherkin

Burr gherkin, Burr cucumber, Badunga, Cohombro

West indian gherkin care instructions

How long does West indian gherkin take to grow?

These estimates for how long West indian gherkin takes to sprout, grow and harvest are from real observations from real gardeners, right around the world. Start logging and journaling your observations to participate!


Popular varieties of West indian gherkin

View the complete variety list for West indian gherkin »

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