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CUCUMIS sativus 'Crystal Apple'

Image of Cucumis sativus 'Crystal Apple'

Family

Cucurbitaceae

Botanical Name

CUCUMIS sativus 'Crystal Apple'

Plant Common Name

Crystal Apple Cucumber, Cucumber, Slicing Cucumber

General Description

The unusual cucumber 'Crystal Apple' bears fruits that look much like Granny Smith apples. This heirloom variety was sold in the United States as early as 1934 by the Ferry Morse Seed Company. It was obtained from the Australian Arthur Yates and Co. around 1930, and it's believed they received it from Chinese sources. The vines produce fruits about 65 days after sowing seeds. Crystal Apple cucumbers have tender skins that are pale greenish-white with spots of green. The white flesh is crisp and sweet and perfect for slicing for salads. There's no need to remove the skin before eating the oval 3-inch-long (8 cm) cucumbers! Some seed catalogs may list this variety under the ambiguous name of "Apple Shaped."

Asian in origin, cucumbers have been cultivated since ancient times. These frost-tender annual vines thrive in the warmth and sunshine of summer. They have large, broadly lobed leaves that are green and scratchy to the touch. When mature they produce yellow flowers that are either male or female. Pollen-bearing male flowers are produced first, followed by the fruit-bearing female flowers. The female flowers are easily recognizable by the bulbous ovaries at their bases.

Mature cucumbers are elongated or rounded, can be various shades of green and have small prickles on their skins. Some cucumbers are bred to be harvested young for pickles while others are raised to be harvested when more mature and used for slicing. Overripe specimens turn yellow and have softer flesh and large, firm and inedible seeds, so it’s best to harvest them when they are young and crisp.

Grow your cucumbers in full sun and fertile, evenly moist, perfectly drained garden loam. After the threat of frost passes, sow cucumber seeds directly in the ground. If transplanting container-grown plants, take care to not damage their tender white roots unless they are root-bound. Root-bound plants can be saved only if their roots are gently teased apart before planting. Be sure to harvest fruits regularly, so they will continue to flower and produce fruit.

Cucumbers may be trained on a trellis or cage or allowed to ramble freely across the ground. Fruit quality, color and shape is exceptional when vines do not clamber across the soil. Fresh or pickled, cucumbers are a favorite vegetable, and they are as easy to grow as they are tasty.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 1

  • Sunset Zone

    A3, H1, H2, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Vegetable

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    6"-10" / 15.2cm - 25.4cm

  • Width

    7'-12' / 2.1m - 3.7m

  • Bloom Time

    Early Summer, Summer, Late Summer, Early Fall, Indeterminate

  • Native To

    Southern Asia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam

  • Growth Rate

    Very Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Vining/Climbing

  • Seasonal Interest

    Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Yellow

  • Fruit Color

    White, Light Green, Lime Green

  • Fruit Color Modifier

    Bicolor, Spotted/Mottled

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Dark Green, Yellow Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    Yes

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Coarse

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Edible, Herb / Vegetable, Vine

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes