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Published In: Species Plantarum 2: 1012. 1753. (1 May 1753) (Sp. Pl.) Name publication detailView in BotanicusView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 8/11/2017)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project Data     (Last Modified On 7/9/2009)
Status: Introduced


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2. Cucumis sativus L. (cucumber)

Map 1625, Pl. 3371 h, i

Leaf blades 3–15 cm long, 3–13 cm wide, ovate to broadly ovate-triangular or sometimes nearly circular in outline, the 5 shallow to moderate lobes broadly triangular, with mostly sharply pointed tips. Staminate flowers solitary or in small clusters, the individual flowers with slender stalks 3–8 mm long, the corolla lobes 7–16 mm long. Pistillate flowers solitary or in small clusters, the individual flowers with stout stalks 3–8 mm long, the hypanthium and calyx moderately to densely hairy and with blunt, soft, pustular-based prickles, the corolla lobes 10–15 mm long. Fruits 5–20 cm long (much longer in some cultivated plants), oblong-cylindrical, sometimes slightly arched, the flesh and pulp pale green, the rind relatively thin, usually appearing irregularly bumpy or with scattered, low warts (the persistent pustular bases of the prickles), green to dark green, rarely with irregular longitudinal stripes. 2n=14. July–September.

Introduced, uncommon, known thus far only from the city of St. Louis (cultigen of apparently Asian origin, introduced sporadically nearly worldwide, in the U.S. mostly east of the Mississippi River). Railroads.

Cucumbers most likely originated in subtropical areas bordering the Himalayan Mountains, where locally developed races are still found today. Cucumis sativus has been cultivated in India for at least 3,000 years and was introduced very early into Europe and China (Sauer, 1993). Numerous cultivars have been developed, including several for pickling and slicing. This species was first reported for Missouri by Mühlenbach (1979) based on his botanical inventories of the St. Louis railyards.



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