West Indian Gherkin Cucumber


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West Indian Gherkin Cucumber features rare and flavorful miniature cucumbers shaped like burrs! These small, crispy, and spiky cucumbers burst with refreshing flavor and are a prized crop in regions of Africa, South America, and the Oceanias. Watch these 1-1/2 to 2-inch-long oval-shaped gherkins grow wild on 5-10-foot-long thin vines! West Indian Gherkins can be treated just like regular cucumbers by pickling them, cooking them in stews, or enjoying them fresh. Try these heirloom seeds for the opportunity to cultivate a unique and delectable cucumber variety in your garden!

 Also Known As: Cackrey, Maroon Cucumber, Burr Gherkin, West Indian Gourd, Cocombro Mexicano, Pepino Silvestre, Mini Watermelon, Mini Bitter Gourd, Kantola, Pepinitos, Massissis, Maxixe, Wild Cucumber, African Cucumber, Caribbean Cucumber, Jerusalem Cucumber.

We ship in 1 business day. Shipped with USPS First Class Mail.

Plant Name:
Cucumber, West Indian Gherkin
Latin Name:
Cucumis anguria
Days to Germinate: 7-14
Days to Harvest: 70
Germination Rate: 98%
Test Date: 8/23
Growth Habit: Vining
USDA Zones: 3-12
Lifespan: Annual
Brand: TomorrowSeeds
Sunlight: Full Sun, Partial Shade
Heirloom, Open-Pollinated
Fungicide-Treated Seeds:*: No
Seeds Packed For**: 2024

*Fungicide-treated seeds protect the seedlings from diseases until they are up and growing. Do not eat treated seeds.
**Seeds are freshly packed for the growing season of the year listed. Seeds are still viable beyond pack date. Store in a cool and dry location such as the refrigerator or basement to best preserve germination rates.

Planting Instructions:


Soil Preparation:

Remove weeds, large rocks, and litter from the planting area. Leave small weeds and dead grass, they will enrich the soil when turned under. Spade the soil 8-12 inches deep and turn each shovel of soil over completely to cover the plant materials with soil. You may add fertilizer or organic matter at this point (see "Fertilizing" below). Make rows of soil beds 4-6 inches high and 4-6 feet apart. This formation of ridges will help with drainage.


Since gherkins cannot survive frost, plant only after all danger of frost has passed and the soil begins to warm. Choose an area with full sunlight, well-drained soil, and away from tree roots. To plant, make 1 inch deep holes spaced 18 inches apart in raised beds down the rows, then plant 3-4 seeds in each hole. Cover seeds with about 1 inch of fine soil and firm the soil with the flat side of a hoe, but do not pack it. Remove extra plants after seedlings emerge.

Gherkin vines can reach 6-8 feet long or more and require lots of space. In large gardens, gherkins can be spread on the ground. In small gardens, gherkins can be trained on a fence, trellis, cage, or along a wire attached to a wall. If wire cages are used, plant along the cage or trellis. 

Planting Depth: 1 inch
Within-Row Spacing:
18 inches
Between-Row Spacing:
4-6 feet


Care During the Season:

Watering: Water the plants well about once a week if it does not rain.

Weeding: Keep gherkin plants as weed-free as possible. When plowing or hoeing do not dig deeper than 1 inch to prevent from cutting the feeder rooters which may slow the plant's growth. 

Fertilizing: Gherkins may optionally be fertilized. When vines are 10-12 inches long, you may optionally apply 1/2 cup of fertilizer for each 10 feet of row, or 1 tablespoon per plant. Water the plants after fertilizing.

Insecticides: Insecticides may be used to protect plants. Bt-based insecticides and sulfur are organic options. Sulfur also has fungicidal properties and helps in controlling many diseases. Before using a pesticide, read the label and always follow cautions, warnings and directions.

Diseases: Diseases can show up as spots on the upper or lower sides of leaves or cucumbers. Check the plants daily and if these spots appear, treat the plant with an approved fungicide. Neem oil, sulfur, and other fungicides may be used. Please always follow label directions.


Harvest West Indian Gherkins when they are 1-1/2 to 2 inches long and oblong-shaped, and the surface is bumpy and covered in long hairs. Try not to wait until cucumbers turn yellow because they may be over-mature.


Nutrition Facts:

Calories 8
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0 g 0%
Saturated fat 0 g 0%
Polyunsaturated fat 0 g
Monounsaturated fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Sodium 1 g 0%
Potassium 76mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 7 g 1%
Dietary fiber <1 g 1%
Protein 0 g 3%
Vitamin A 2% Vitamin C 5%
Calcium 3% Iron 1%
Vitamin D 0% Vitamin B-6 0%
Cobalamin 0% Magnesium 2%
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.