Mexican Sour Gherkin Cucumber

Posted on Jan 1, 2013 in Botany, Plant This | Comments Off

This is not actually a cucumber. It’s a close relative, Melothria scabra, native to Central America and Mexico, with a bright, tart flavor a bit bolder than a cucumber—but the flavor isn’t the only reason to grow this one. The fruits themselves are only the size of a grape, but they resemble miniature watermelons, with a mottled green and white skin. They’re the perfect size for a drink garnish. (get them here)

Look for them in garden centers, but if you can’t find them, grow them from seed. They’ll get up and running quickly, they’ll tolerate cold better than a regular cucumber, and they’ll produce loads of fruit all season long. Just be sure to give them wire or a trellis to climb—they can reach ten feet tall, and really will produce more fruit than you know what to do with. That’s okay, because your friends will all happily take the surplus. Just give them sun, rich soil, and regular water, then stand back.