What is growing in my sister's garden?
September 5, 2013 7:30 PM   Subscribe

My sister bought cucumber plants for her garden... What grew was this.

I'm not sure if she bought seedlings, or planted seeds, but they were labeled cucumbers. The vegetable/fruit? that is growing now does NOT look like a cucumber. Here's another pic. The first one is pear shaped, the other more deformed, and obviously they are growing on the ground. The first appears to have a vine-like stem. We have speculated perhaps some sort of squash, but it doesn't look familiar, and there are no flowers.

Anybody know what this is? Completely different plant? Strange type of cucumber? Deformed/ diseased regular cucumber? Do cucumbers normally start out yellow?
posted by catatethebird to Home & Garden (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
posted by greta simone at 7:32 PM on September 5, 2013

Best answer: It looks like what is called a lemon cucumber
posted by lakersfan1222 at 7:32 PM on September 5, 2013 [2 favorites]

Best answer: It looks kind of like a lemon cucumber. I've had them from the farmer's market. They were good. Don't let them get overripe.
posted by maggieb at 7:34 PM on September 5, 2013

Best answer: An older lemon cuke, yes. The leaves are definitely cuke leaves, and I've grown the lemon cukes myself. Your sister's lemon cukes look on the older side. The lemon cukes, in my limited experience, had thicker skin (kinda woody, almost), very large seeds, and tasted perfectly unimpressive, but hey, maybe they'll be your new favorite.
posted by lakersfan1222 at 7:34 PM on September 5, 2013

Best answer: I think that is a cucumber, I've seen ones like it in my usual seed catalogue (but I can't remember quite what). It's a sort usually called apple cucumber, as opposed to the long ones, and they come in a few different varieties. Or a lemon cucumber, thanks lakersfan! I think the second pic looks like the cuke had some issues while it was growing, maybe erratic watering? Or maybe it just has something weird wrong with it. Cut a non weird looking one open, and see.
posted by Kaleidoscope at 7:35 PM on September 5, 2013

Best answer: Poor cucumbers can also result from poor soil conditions. Lack of calcium, etc. I would call your local county extension office and ask. Cucumbers are related to squash, yes.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 7:37 PM on September 5, 2013

Response by poster: I think you guys are right, I googled similar pics, and a friend did say the leaves look like cucumber leaves. Solved in record time! Thanks MeFi. I'll tell her to pick them.
posted by catatethebird at 7:37 PM on September 5, 2013

Response by poster: Think the weird one is edible? (Though knowing her, she won't.)
posted by catatethebird at 7:46 PM on September 5, 2013

Actually, I don't think they're lemon cucumbers—they're poona kheeras or a similar heirloom, which starts out a vivid mustard yellow and ripens with a brown, crackly skin. They're typically oblongs, not round.

(Poona kheeras are super delicious, with crisp, juicy light-green flesh and not a trace of bitterness).
posted by peachfuzz at 8:10 PM on September 5, 2013 [3 favorites]

Quinces grow on trees. It's a lemon cuke.
posted by Ideefixe at 8:31 PM on September 5, 2013

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