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hedgehog gourd, teasel gourd

cucumber, garden cucumber

Habit Plants: roots thin, without thick, woody rootstock.

petiole weakly hispidulous to hispid;

blade ovate to broadly ovate, unlobed to 3-lobate, 3–7.5(–12.5) × 2–7(–12) cm, length 1.1–1.5 times width, base cordate, lobes ovate to elliptic, margins serrate or entire.


pedicels of pistillate flowers and fruits cylindric; staminate flowers 1 or 2–7, usually in racemoid fascicles, rarely racemes; pistillate flowers: calyx lobes 5–6(–11) mm, petals 6–15 mm, corolla tube 1–1.5 mm, lobes glabrous inside.


proximally hispidulous, distally glabrous.


pale yellow, monocolor, ellipsoid to ellipsoid-cylindric or globose, 3.5–7 × 2.5–4 cm, densely echinate at maturity, spinules narrowly cylindric, mostly obscuring fruit surface, flesh light yellow.


= 24.

Cucumis dipsaceus

Cucumis sativus

Phenology Flowering Jul–Sep.
Habitat Open shrublands, thicket edges, riparian corridors, stream banks, sandy and loamy soil
Elevation 50–100 m (200–300 ft)
from FNA
TX; Africa [Introduced in North America; introduced also in Mexico, Pacific Islands (Galapagos Islands, Hawaii), Australia]
[BONAP county map]
from FNA
AR; AZ; FL; GA; IL; KS; KY; LA; MA; MI; MO; MS; NC; NY; OH; PA; SC; UT; VA; ON; Asia [Introduced also nearly worldwide]
[BONAP county map]

Cucumis dipsaceus is documented as adventive in Texas by collections from Hidalgo and Webb counties. It is sometimes cultivated as an ornamental because of its distinctive fruits.

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

Varieties 2 (1 in the flora).

Records of cucumber cultivation appear in France in the ninth century, in England in the fourteenth century, and in North America by the mid sixteenth century.

Variety hardwickii (Royle) Gabaev (= C. hardwickii Royle) occurs in the northwestern Himalayas, the Eastern Ghats and Western Ghats, and the central plateau region of India. J. H. Kirkbride (1993) and C. Jeffrey (1980c, 2001) observed that it can be identified in its usual form but that morphological intergradation argues against its recognition as a distinct evolutionary entity with formal taxonomic status. W. J. J. O. de Wilde and B. E. E. Duyfjes (2010) agreed that C. hardwickii is not sharply demarcated from feral forms of C. sativus and they reduced its rank to forma within C. sativus. On the other hand, Cucumis hardwickii is isozymically distinct from C. sativus. L. D. Knerr and J. E. Staub (1991) found that it possesses alleles not present in the remainder of their samples of C. sativus. V. Meglic et al. (1996) found it to be isozymically distinct from 750 C. sativus samples. Without consistent morphological differentiation between Cucumis hardwickii and the highly variable domesticated and feral forms of C. sativus in the narrow sense, but with an apparent molecular distinction, their recognition at varietal rank seems appropriate. Rank of forma (as interpreted here) would imply that C. hardwickii is a populational variant.

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

Source FNA vol. 6, p. 38. FNA vol. 6, p. 34.
Parent taxa Cucurbitaceae > Cucumis Cucurbitaceae > Cucumis
Sibling taxa
C. anguria, C. melo, C. metuliferus, C. myriocarpus, C. sativus
C. anguria, C. dipsaceus, C. melo, C. metuliferus, C. myriocarpus
Subordinate taxa
C. sativus var. sativus
Name authority Ehrenberg: in E. Spach, Hist. Nat. Vég. 6: 211. (1838) Linnaeus: Sp. Pl. 2: 1012. (1753)
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