Cucumber Facts

Cucumber Facts
Cucumber is a type of flowering plant that belongs to the pumpkin family. This plant originates from South Asia. Cultivation of cucumber started 3000 years ago in India and it quickly spread to the rest of the world. Cucumber was popular and often consumed type of vegetable in the ancient Egypt and Rome. It is still one of the most widely used plants in human diet. Cucumber grows best in warm, subtropical climate, in sunny areas on a fertile, well-drained soil. People cultivate cucumbers mostly as a source of food. Some types of cucumber are cultivated in ornamental purposes.
Interesting Cucumber Facts:
Cucumber has hairy, angled stem that can grow in the form of vine (that can reach 1 to 6 feet in height) or shrub (that spreads 2 to 3 square feet in diameter). Spiraling tendrils support the growth of vines by attaching to the nearby structures.
Cucumber develops large, triangular-ovate leaves divided in three lobes. Leaves are light-green colored.
Cucumber produces bright yellow flowers during the summer and early autumn.
Cucumber can produce hermaphrodite flowers (they contain both types of reproductive organs) or individual male and female flowers on the same plant (monoecious types). Bees and bumblebees are main pollinators of the flowers. Parthenocarpic types of cucumbers produce fruit without pollination. Some types of cucumbers are able to perform self-pollination.
Fruit appears 8 to 10 weeks after planting. One plant produces 25 to 125 fruit.
Fruit of cucumber is cylindrically-shaped, 3 to 24 inches long and covered with green skin with white tubercles (bumps) on the surface. Pulp is whitish, crispy and filled with numerous seed.
Cucumber is propagated via seed.
All varieties of cucumbers can be divided in three major groups: slicing (large cucumbers with rough skin), pickling (small cucumbers that are used for pickling) and burpless (cucumbers without seed, with smooth skin).
Cucumber contains more than 90% of water. It is rich source of vitamins C and vitamins of the B group and minerals such as iron, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus.
Cucumber is usually consumed raw (in the form of salads) or pickled. Young leaves, stem and seed are used in the Asian cuisine.
Cucumber is used in cosmetic industry for the production of soaps, lotions, shampoos and fragrances.
Slice of cucumber can kill bacteria responsible for the bad breath in only 30 seconds (when placed on the palate). Also, cucumber produces cooling effect when placed on the skin and it can extract excess water from the swollen areas.
Ancient Romans were using cucumbers in treatment of scorpion bites and bad eyesight. We know today that cucumbers reduce blood cholesterol level.
China is the greatest manufacturer of cucumbers in the world. It produces 40 million tons of cucumbers annually (60% of globally consumed cucumbers).
Cucumber is an annual plant (it completes its life cycle in one year).

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