Ethiopian Burr Gherkin
Improvement Status: Landrace
Seeds per packet: ~30
Germination tested 11/2023: 97%
Life cycle: Annual
This is a delicious Ethiopian variety of the cucumber-relative typically called "West Indian Burr Gherkin" in English, though it's actually an African species. These seeds were grown for us by the great Amirah Mitchell of Sistah Seeds, after we requested this variety from the USDA. It entered the USDA collection in 1967. It's best used before full-sized (except for seed-saving!), but this one is good to a larger size than most. Amirah also reports that this variety has fewer spines than most of the species, that they rub off quite easily, and that the young fruit was so tasty she plans to grow it again!
NOTE: Amirah didn't get a photo, so this is a photo from the Smithsonian, taken in Puerto Rico, but depicting a young fruit similar to what this one looks like.