Cucumber characteristics

Characteristics of cucumbers

Cucumber plant
Cucumber plant

What are cucumbers?

Cucumbers (Cucumis sp) are plants of the gourd family – Cucurbitaceae, to which some well-known fruits as melons,  chayores or courgettes belong.

Origin and history of cucumbers

They are native from India and they were already used abundantly, together with the melons, in the old Egyptian culture.

According to John Heinerman in his Encyclopedia of Vegetable Fruits and Herbs, remedies with cucumber for the skin were already used by Cleopatra.

Later on, Greeks and Romans also consumed them habitually.

They were so appreciated in the antiquity that Israelis in the exile complained to Moses about having lost the main luxuries of Egypt that, according to them, they thought to be cucumbers and melons.

In recent times they appear as cultivated plants in warm climates in many countries of the world.

Varieties and classes of cucumbers

Different species exist. Bigger ones are used to eat fresh in salads (Cucumis sativus); other smaller ones, as the Indian species Cucumis anguria, are used as a species to put in vinegar.

Some have a more exclusive use, as the Cucumis myriocarpus, a species from South Africa, with potent emetic properties or the Arabic species Cucumis prophetarum that constitutes a strong purge.

Besides these properties, they are used by the perfumery industry for their wealth in aromas to provide odour to certain products.

punto rojo More information on cucumbers

This article was endorsed by Elisenda Carballido - Dietitian nutritionist. Postgraduate in Phytotherapy and master in Nutrition and Metabolism.
Editorial
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

2 August, 2021

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