Off topic: Culinary

Jim McKenney
Tue, 10 Feb 2009 07:36:13 PST
I don't have any experience of the plant to share, but I've also noticed
this item in seed catalogs this year. Territorial Seed Company offers it as
Mexican Sour Gherkin.

Those Mexican Sour Gherkins look interesting, but what really got my
attention is one of its apparent relatives: the Jung Seed Co if offering
something they call Deco-Mix Ornamental Cucumber (not for food purposes they
say). The photo in the catalog shows round and oval fruits in several sizes.
Some are smooth, some are covered with spines, some green, some striped in
yellow orange and white.  No botanical name is given. 

Does anyone grow the squirting cucumber, Ecballium elaterium? 

And gardening books from the early twentieth century sometimes illustrate
two other forgotten curcurbits: Echinocystis lobata and Sicyos angulatus.
From the photo I know best, Echinocystis seems to have real ornamental value
(although it is apparently weedy in some areas).  

Now I wonder, are those Deco-mix Ornamental Cucumbers Echinocystis? 

Jim McKenney
Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, 39.03871º North, 77.09829º West, USDA zone
7, where things are starting to pop. 
My Virtual Maryland Garden
Webmaster Potomac Valley Chapter, NARGS 
Editor PVC Bulletin 
Webmaster Potomac Lily Society

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