Singapore Government Logo

A Singapore Government Agency Website

Cucumis sativus


Cucumis sativus L.

Family Name: Cucurbitaceae
Common Name: Cucumber, Gherkin, Timun, Mentimun, 黄瓜


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Climber
Lifespan (in Singapore) Annual
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form A monoecious, annual with a climbing or creeping growth form. 
Foliage The simple leaves are arranged alternately along the stem and are triangular-ovate with a cordate leaf base and a dentate leaf margin. 
Stems The stems are branched, can grow up to 5m in length and are covered with stiff, bristly hairs. 
Flowers The flowers are borne in the axillary leaf nodes and are unisexual and occasionally hermaphroditic. The male flowers are borne in clusters while the female flowers are solitary and have short, thick flower stalks (pedicels). Both flowers have a widely bell-shaped, 5-lobed corolla which is wrinkled and hairy in texture.  
Fruit The fruit is a pendulous pepo and is very variable in shape, size and colour. The fruit surface is scattered with small, sharp spines when young and has pale green flesh and have many seeds. The white seeds are flat, smooth and ovate-oblong in shape.  
Cultivation It is ideally grown under full sun, in fertile and well-drained growing media with pH of 6.5 to 7.5 and at the optimum temperature of 30°C.
Ethnobotanical Uses Edible Plant Parts : Edible Fruits
Food (Fruit or Vegetable): The immature fruits are used in salads or pickled and eaten. The young shoots are eaten raw or steamed in South-East Asia. In Irian Jaya (Indonesia), ripe cucumbers are taken along by travellers on long foot trips to quench thirst.  

Landscaping Features

Landscape Uses Parks & Gardens, Small Gardens, Trellis / Arbour / Pergola
Thematic Landscaping Economic Garden
Usage Hazard - Cons Spines/Thorns - Fruit

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water
Rootzone Tolerance Moist Soils, Well-Drained Soils, Fertile Loamy Soils
Diseases Angular leaf-spot, powdery mildew and downy mildew. 
Propagation Method Seed
Seed / Spore Germination Duration 3 days


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Alternate
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage
Foliar Margin Dentate
Foliar Base Cordate

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality Unisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) Yellow / Golden
Flower Texture(s) Wrinkled, Thin
Flower Location Axillary
Flower Symmetry Radial
Individual Flower Shape Campaulate / Bell-shaped

Image Repository



Master ID 29570
Species ID 3879
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 23 March 2023.