Cucumis anguria Linn. Cucurbitaceae. Bur Cucumber. Gherkin. Goareberry Gourd. West Indian Gherkin. Wild Cucumber.
West Indies. This is the wild cucumber of Hughes. It is a native of the West Indies, and the green fruit is eaten there but it is far inferior to the common cucumber. Sloane says the fruit is of a pale green color, oval, as big as a walnut, having many short, blunt, thick tubercles, sharper than those of other cucumbers, and that within the pulp are a great many small seeds like those of other cucumbers. It is cultivated in Jamaica, but oftener the fruits are collected from the wild plants. In France, it is called Concoinbre arada and is sometimes grown in gardens, the fruit being called sweet and excellent when grown under good circumstances of soil. This vegetable is described by Marcgravius in Brazil 1648, the name Cucumis sylvestris Brazileae indicating an uncultivated plant. Ten years later, Piso also described it as a wild plant of Brazil under the name guarervaoba or cucumer asinius and gives a figure. It has also been found in the Antilles and. in continental tropical and subtropical America, New Granada and South Florida. It is not mentioned as cultivated in Jamaica by Sloane, 1696. Its fruit is mentioned as being used in soups and pickles, apparently gathered from the wild plant, by Long, 1774, Titford, 1812, and Lunan, 1814. It is, however, cultivated in French Guiana and Antigua. Although described by Ray, 1686 and 1704, and grown by Miller in his botanic garden in 1755, it yet does not appear to be in the vegetable gardens of England in 1807, although it was known in the gardens of the United States in 1806. In France, it was under cultivation in 1824 and 1829 but apparently was abandoned and was reintroduced by Vilmorin in 1858.
Cucumis longipes Hook. f.
The fruit tastes like a cucumber.
Cucumis prophetarum Linn. Globe Cucumber.
Arabia and tropical Africa. The flesh of this cucumber is scanty and too bitter to be edible, says Vilmorin, who includes it among the plants of the kitchen garden. Burr says the fruit is sometimes eaten boiled, but is generally pickled in its green state like the common cucumber and adds that it is not worthy of cultivation.
Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World, 1919, was edited by U. P. Hedrick.