West Coast Seeds - Cucurbits (Cucumbers, Zucchini, Melon, etc.)
Due to our rapidly changing inventory, the majority of our West Coast Seeds are in-store purchase only, so please consider this section of our website as a small teaser only.
Most of the plants in this family are annual vines, but some are woody lianas, thorny shrubs, or trees (Dendrosicyos). Many species have large, yellow or white flowers. The stems are hairy and pentangular. Tendrils are present at 90° to the leaf petioles at nodes. Leaves are exstipulate alternate simple palmately lobed or palmately compound. The flowers are unisexual, with male and female flowers on different plants (dioecious) or on the same plant (monoecious). The female flowers have inferior ovaries. The fruit is often a kind of modified berry called a pepo.
Fresh cucumbers taste so much better than store-bought ones and each variety has a unique flavour. The inner temperature of a cucumber can be 20 degrees cooler than the outside air. The cucumber seeds originated in Asia Minor and spread globally. The Romans grew them and the Bible refers to them. In the late 1500's The Plains Indians and Iroquois obtained cucumbers from the Spanish by barter, learning how to grow these alongside the corn, beans and pumpkins they already grew. In Europe, while cucumbers were well known for several hundred years, the English in the 17th Century went through a period of uncertainty about the benefits of eating fresh fruit and vegetables and called them "cowcumbers" - fit only for cattle and toxic to humans. We know better now.
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