Creeping Cucumbers are tiny, delicious, cucumber-flavored fruit that look like little watermelons when young but then turn a dark purple/black when ripe. Do not eat the ripe (purple/black) fruit. At that stage they are an incredibly powerful laxative. Only eat the light-green, watermelony looking fruits.
These vines are found in moist areas both in sun and in shady areas. They begin growing in early spring and continue to live through the summer and fall. They can even be found through the winter if it is mild enough, but a frost usually kills them.
The unripe, light-green fruit is eaten raw without peeling and really does taste just like a cucumber. Use it anywhere you would use a cucumber. There’s no reason pickling them shouldn’t work. The vines will produce new fruit as long as it lives so it’s quite common to find flowers, unripe fruit and ripe fruit all on the same vine right up until a frost hits.
This is known as Pipinong-gubat in the Philippines. It is a perennial prostrate or climbing vine with thin and smooth stems and coiled tendrils, growing to a length of six feet or more. Leaves are alternate, toothed, shallowly or deeply five-lobed, reaching a length of 5 to 7 centimeters. Flowers are tiny, yellow, with five petals, about 0.8 centimeter wide. Fruit is a tiny, green to black, smooth, and watermelon-like berry, oblong-elliptic, 10 to 19 millimeters long, about 12 millimeters in diameter, with white spots when young, dangling at the end of the pedicel. Leaves smell like cucumber; fruit tastes like cucumber.
According to the “chemical-bromatologic” analysis of this plant carried out in the present work, this vegetal species under study constitutes a source of water, vitamins, minerals and, amazingly, also proteins. The fruits of this plant, despite its reduced size, has a pleasant sweet flavor and are edible for humans. Besides, its foliage is given to livestock as forage. For this reason, this “wild cucumber” could be an additional nutritional alternative for men and animals.”
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