West Indian Gherkin
Origin: Africa, via the Caribbean
Improvement status: Cultivated material
Seeds per packet: ~30
Germination tested 11/2021: 86%
Life cycle: Annual
Burr Gherkins, or West Indian Gherkins, are actually indigenous to Africa, though they're now widely naturalized in the tropical Americas. We got these seeds from our friend Edmund Frost of Common Wealth Seeds in Virginia, who focuses on growing and breeding cucurbits with resistance to Downy Mildew.
From Edmund: "Another Downy Mildew-resistant cucumber-like crop. Pick the green and white fruits when 1-1.5” long, before any seed development starts, and they make really good crisp pickles. Flavor is similar to cucumbers. Shaped like a tiny football, with lengthwise ridges."
GROWING TIPS: Direct seed or transplant in healthy plant starts after danger of last frost. Plants could be 12-18 inches apart in rows 3-5 feet apart. These could be grown on a trellis (which should be strong), or they can sprawl on the ground. Harvest before seeds are ripe like you would a cucumber.