Mexican micro cucumbers – Melothria scabra

These tasty little micro cucumbers are really very entertaining. They are about the size of a grape but taste like a normal cucumber with a slightly pre pickled sour note. They make for an exciting bite in a salad or as a side dish.

The vines do take a while to get growing but once they do they can spread to about 2metres high and wide. They are generally fairly compact though and despite being strong climbers are not really invasive – i.e. you can grow them in a fairly small space or in a large pot as long as they have a trellis to climb on.

They will self seed easily if you let some of the fruit drop naturally.

There are both male and female flowers and they tend to follow the same flowering pattern as a lot of other squash or curcubits where they tend to have more male flowers when it’s warmer and the female flowers come out more as the air temps drop a bit lower and the days lengthen. This can make it seem like they are not fruiting properly for a while if the ambient night and day temperatures stay high.

Like most cucumbers they like a lot of moisture and sun but these plants do seem to grow ok in colder climates. They fruit best for me in late summer as the days start to lengthen and the night temps drop with lots of rain showers.

Melothria_scabra03 Melothria_scabra04

These snaps are of some vines in late summer as they are starting to fruit.