Horned Cucumber (Cucumis metuliferus)

Annual Climber
Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Horned Cucumber
Cucumis metuliferus
Cucurbitaceae

Used as a rootstock for C. sativus, conferring disease resistance[183]. Since this species is less cold tolerant than C, sativus, it is probably not suitable as a rootstock in cool temperate areas.

  • Medicinal Use

    The seeds are vermifuge[7]. They are ground into a fine flour, then made into an emulsion with water and eaten. It is then necessary to take a purge in order to expel the tapeworms or other parasites from the body[7].

  • Edible Use

    Fruit – raw[2, 46, 61]. Insipid according to one report[200], whilst another says that it is rather bitter[105]. Said to have a banana-lime flavour and often sold in speciality stores in Europe and America, the fruit is not considered to be very desirable in its native area and it is only eaten in times of scarcity[183].

    Seed – raw[57, 86]. Rich in oil with a nutty flavour but very fiddly to use because the seed is small and covered with a fibrous coat[K].

    Leaves – cooked[177, 183].

  • Cautionary Notes

    The sprouting seed produces a toxic substance in its embryo[65].

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – sow early to mid spring in a greenhouse in a rich soil. Germination should take place within 2 weeks. Sow 2 or 3 seeds per pot and thin out to the best plant. Grow them on fast and plant out after the last expected frosts, giving them cloche or frame protection for at least their first few weeks if you are trying them outdoors.
Requires a rich, well-drained moisture retentive soil and a very warm, sunny sheltered position[200]. A frost-tender plant, the horned cucumber is frequently cultivated for its fruit in tropical and sub-tropical climates, there are some named varieties. It requires a hotter summer than is normally experienced in Britain in order to produce a worthwhile crop and is generally best grown in a greenhouse in this country[61, 200].
S. Africa.

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.