Mexican Sour Gherkin.....

kristie8888(zone8 TX)November 30, 2004

I just thought it would be interesting to share with everyone that I had (this summer) thousands of Mexican Sour Gherkins growing wild in my greenbelt.

I didn't know what it was until a fellow GW member helped me find scientific data that called it a Guatemalan Cucumber. I was under the impression that the cuke was only used as a mild laxative.

Tonight I stumbled across it at the Seed Savers Exchange website describing it as a newly introduced heirloom.

I just thought it was neat to have something so close to my heart(heirlooms) growing wild in my own backyard!

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I've seen that listed somewhere else too! Can't remember which catalog but the description was intriguing.
Did you try any? and if you did, did you like it?


    Bookmark   December 2, 2004 at 11:36AM
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oogy4plants(6B MD)

I saw it in a catalog I received called Totally Tomatoes. Go figure, they also had peppers, and a few other things like the cucumbers. I'm ready to convert my whole yard to a veggie garden after reading about all the succulent varieties. Yum!

Here is a link that might be useful: Tomato Catalog

    Bookmark   December 7, 2004 at 10:48AM
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cleo1717(z7 TN)

I'm thinking about growing these as well. Can you tell me a little bit more about the flavor?

    Bookmark   January 5, 2005 at 10:44PM
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kristie8888(zone8 TX)

the inside white meat in the cucumber tastes just like any other regular cucumber. The catch is that the skin is so sour and a little bitter (like the skin of a plum) And the cucumber is the size of a fingernail so it is not worth peeling. I do think that they could be good to try and pickle them whole. (I will experiment with this next summer)

They are so cute like little watermelons and the skin is smooth. The plant is a tiny vine with tendrils that grab on to all the grass around them and the leaves are the size of a golf ball.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2005 at 11:19AM
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cleo1717(z7 TN)

These almost sound like they could be ornamental. I've been trying to use more vegies and fruits in my front border - I may have to try these. Thanks!

    Bookmark   January 6, 2005 at 1:39PM
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fran_always(z6 PA)

Just bought some Mexican sour gherkins at the Landreth plant sale. I wonder if they the same as the West Indian gherkins. Anyone knows? Cute little plant.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2005 at 10:44PM
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fran_always(z6 PA)

Got my answer: Mexican sour gherkins are Melothria scabra. West Indian gherkins are Cucumis anguria.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2005 at 12:33PM
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goodlifegardener(coastal CA)

Mother Earth News just did an article on these in the June issue. They called them Mouse Melons -- they gave several sources for seed too. Seed Savers Exchange, Baker's Creek, and another one I can't remember.

Sounds intriguing!

    Bookmark   May 26, 2005 at 2:02PM
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Warthog7(8 OR)

I have grown them 2 seasons and love them. They flesh is the same as a regular cuke but the skin is definately sour. I love the flavor combo, just chill for a few hours and eat like candy while watching the tube. I find they make excellent pickles as well. Verrrry Tart. Warthog

    Bookmark   May 28, 2005 at 7:32PM
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Boy, I grew these last summer, and I must say I really did not like them at all, As a matter of fact, neither did anyone else I gave them to to try. Hmmm, I must admit they are cute little things, but taste wise....not for me.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2005 at 8:53PM
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redpoppy215(8 TN)

I'm actually relieved to hear that someone else doesn't like them. I've read so many glowing desriptions of their great taste that I was beginning to think something was wrong with my taste buds! I'm growing this plant this summer, and while the fruit has a great cucumber scent, the taste is cucumber-gone-horribly-wrong. I've tried it several times, thinking maybe I was just getting unripe ones or over-ripe ones, or just trying them on a bad day, and each time I end up making a face and having to rinse out my mouth. I don't understand, though, when everyone else seems to just think they're great! Maybe some sort of variety difference? Maybe I'll try ordering some seeds next year and see if I can get a better-tasting plant.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2005 at 9:32AM
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redpoppy215(8 TN)

By the way, Cleo, they are ornamental, and even though mine aren't worth eating, they're worth growing. The little fruits are very cute and attention-grabbing, and the flowers are attractive -- plus, the hummingbirds love them!

    Bookmark   August 6, 2005 at 9:34AM
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reign(z5 NY)

redpoppy215 - were you waiting until they dropped to the ground? They're on my list to try next season. I'm wondering how big of a ground mess they make.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2005 at 2:19PM
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ghouliegrrrl(z9b CA)

I know this topic is pretty old, but I wanted to put in my .02 since my Mexican Sour Gherkins are going like mad...

You are definitely supposed to wait until the cukes fall - I inspect the area around mine and shake them daily and collect all those that fall. I adore these little guys, though my neighbor didn't agree with me. Its all a matter of taste.

They are *darn* cute though and a *really* pretty vine. There a boatload about to drop any day now, and I'm looking forward to it. Hmmm...fresh in a salad or pickled...I don't know! :)


    Bookmark   October 4, 2005 at 8:38PM
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Make sure you are not mixing up two species. Melothria Scabra is the Mexican Sour Gerkin. The Melothria Pendula is the Guadeloupe cucumber. The latter turns black when ripe and that is probably when the seeds are emetic. Unripe the fruit is fine. To read more about it go to and you'll find it in the archives

    Bookmark   February 16, 2008 at 11:48AM
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