The possible origin of Cucumis anguria L
Cucumis anguria L., the “West India Gherkin” or “Bur Gherkin”, is a cultigen known to have occurred in the West Indies in a cultivated or more or less adventitious state since before 1650 when the first accounts of this plant were published (1, 2). The occurrence of a single species of this old world genus — which is mainly African but extends through South West Asia to India — in America, combined with the fact that it is almost exclusively found in cultivation or as an escape, makes one feel suspicious about its being truly indigenous in the New World. Naudin (4) discussed the history of this plant and suggested that it was originally introduced from West Africa whence negro slaves were brought to the New World. However, he admittedly did not know any wild African species of Cucumis which resembles C. anguria sufficiently to deserve consideration as its probable ancestor.
|Rights||Released under the CC-BY 4.0 ("Attribution") License|
Meeuse, A.D.J. (1958). The possible origin of Cucumis anguria L. Blumea. Supplement, 4(1), 196–205.