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Publication #HS589

Cucumber, Armenian—Cucumis melo L. (Flexuosus group)1

James M. Stephens2

Armenian cucumber is known by several other names such as snake cucumber, snake melon, and uri. It should not be confused with the snake gourd or club gourd, Trichosanthes anguina.

Description

Armenian cucumber is closely related to muskmelon, but is elongated like a cucumber. The slender fruit is usually about 3 feet long and 3 inches in diameter, almost always bent and twisted. It is dark green, marked with paler green longitudinal furrows, and is thicker at the blossom end. The fruit changes to yellow when ripe, at which time it has a strong muskmelon odor.

Figure 1. 

Armenian cucumber


Credit:

James M. Stephens


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

The annual vine is creeping, with slender roundish to angular stems covered with short hairs. The leaves are rounded, almost kidney-shaped with five angles (lobes). Both male and female flowers on the vine are small and pale yellow, with five rounded divisions. Seeds are more like those of a muskmelon than a cucumber.

Individual plants may be found bearing fruits that are long and twisted and at the same time other fruits that are broad and oval. Sometimes even the same fruit will be thin and snake-like near the stem end, but swollen at the other end similar to a melon.

Culture

In Florida, as in most parts of the country, the Armenian cucumber is grown as a curiosity and for pickling. Planted in late August in Gainesville, fruits suitable for use have been produced by late October.

It is a warm season crop, and should be planted from seed in the early spring or early fall in all areas of Florida except south Florida where it may be seeded October through February. Follow the cultural suggestions for cucumber and cantaloupe. Growers should be on the alert for powdery mildew and downy mildew, two common diseases of cucumbers and cantaloupes.

Footnotes

1.

This document is HS589, one of a series of the Horticultural Sciences Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date May 1994. Revised September 2015. Visit the EDIS website at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu.

2.

James M. Stephens, professor emeritus, Horticultural Sciences Department, UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville FL 32611.


The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.