Thursday, March 6, 2008

Cucumber, but not as we know it!

Sicyos australis

The star cucumber is not a plant anyone would grow for its fruit! The “cucumbers” are about 1cm long, and consist mostly of soft green prickles. They are held in a star-like cluster on the plant. Like the white flowers, they are gently attractive - but it is the wonderful, baroque leaf-shape which makes this soft-stemmed annual climber worth growing in any shady garden.

Naturalised, in a rainforest garden, its delightful appearance each summer would add to the rich texture of greens appropriate to the style.

It succumbs to both frost and drought. Where it occurs naturally we can be sure that, once, there was rainforest.

No comments: