Cucumber bean (Cyclanthera pedata)
Jaimie Sweetman is Head Gardener of the Edible Forest located on the Yarra Valley Estate in Dixons Creek. Tours of the Edible Forest, often led by Jaimie, take place on Fridays and Saturdays – read more and book your place on a future tour.
Cyclanthera pedate is an annual vine originating from South America.
I call it ‘cucumber bean’ as it tastes a little like both yet is actually neither!
The small fruits can be eaten straight off the vine, while older fruits need to be cooked.
The vine grows up to 4m long and thus requires a trellis of some sort. We grow it over our bean tunnel, which gives it almost a tropical look as well as creating shade in the heat of the summer.
The seeds are unusual and look almost like charcoal. They are best planted in Spring. At the Edible Forest, we collect and save the seeds each year and have some available for anyone wishing to try and grow this unique annual.
Hello Jaimie, this sounds a fascinating vegie or is it a fruit. I would love 2 seeds please and can give you a fee to cover costs and seeds. Please send ph no for credit or bank details for us to put in.
Do tell me it’s preferred soil conditions, position etc. Will the possums eat it? I presume the rats will. I do a backyard edible food garden on permaculture principles and will enjoy trialling this.
I pickle, chutney or ferment excess crop so look forward to investigating using these.
I planted 3 Ashitaba (Angelica keiskei) seedlings from All Rare Herbs in Qld recently and am waiting on them to take off. They are aclimatising I think.
As a thought, would you be interested in coming to speak to our Club at a meeting? We meet on 2nd Wednesday night of each month at 8pm (RSL Hall, cnr Doncaster Road and Leeds Street, Doncaster East) and 13th September is free still: 45 minutes including questions and feel free to bring produce or plants to sell. We are happy to pay $150 or send your fee for the Committee to decide on. We might be an hour from you
Pauline Webb, Hon President, Doncaster Garden Club 0409 063 060