Thursday, February 9, 2012

Why are my Apple Cucumbers yellow?

Cucumber Crystal Apple

I have been looking at the Cucumber Crystal Apple fruit growing at home and wondering when they would turn creamy white like the picture on the label... and they haven't.  I received a polite query from a customer today about yellow fruit and then discovered that Mark  has experienced the same with his plants.  It's beginning to sound like a theme.

My first concern in these situations is that we have labeled plants correctly, no problem there. I checked the seed packet we have used this season, no problem there. I did a Google search and hey presto, most Cucumber Crystal Apple images are quite yellow if not as lemony as the one above from our home garden.  Only 1 in 10 is creamy white like the image we have used on our label or the one below from a seed company. 
Cucumber C/- Burpee Seeds

 I can't find any information on why some fruit will be yellow and others white. There is some discussion about fruit turning bright yellow once it is over ripe but nothing conclusive. My own experience has been that the fruit is perfectly tasty but it is a little confusing knowing when to harvest, there is no obvious indicator that says "Hey, pick me now!" One theory appears to be the fruit will be larger and whiter if it is protected from the sun. The plant is a rambly vine type that can be tied to a trellis nut we have just let it scramble around.

Relative to Continental (Long Green Burpless) and Lebanese Cues the Crystal Apple is a poor cousin but it has a very loyal following. My Grand Father, Dave loved his Apple Cucumbers. They are very flavoursome and especially gassy, I think he liked that. Crystal Apple is an heirloom variety first released in New Zealand in 1934 and it appears to be considered quite a novelty in the northern hemisphere.

If you know any more about Apple Cucumbers, please let me know.  

By the way I've had the regular summer question again: "why do my cucumbers (Pumpkins, Squash, Tomatoes, etc.) have lots of flowers but no fruit?"  Answer: No Bees. Almost certainly, pretty much every time. Try tapping the flowers to release some pollen, alternatively brush pollen from one flower to another.


  1. Hi Peter, This looks closer to the apple type cucumber called "Lemon" & and there is an all green Variety called "Richmond River Green Apple".I got seed of these from Eden seeds. Any open pollinated variety of cucumber may not come true to seed.
    cheers Ian

  2. This is really a remarkable topic close to my heart thanks. Keep up the good working! The Tree Center

  3. I get contented to see this selective information.

  4. I can't believe it! I search for hours for insects, pupae, cocoons and there's too much info hard to find. But...I type in bug eggs under leaf and your picture popped up in the first few hits! Presto! Stink bug eggs! And those are them! Have swooped down on us with a vengeance the last few years and they are horrible. One bite on a piece of fruit ruins the entire fruit! A bane in the garden! Thank you very much! As well, I only grow those yellow cucumbers from now on! Lemon Cucumbers. They look so great in a jar of pickles along with green beans. A conversation piece and all our animals love them (goats, escargot, bunnies, chickens). We live near Mt. Rainier in Washington state. Nice to see we have similarities across the globe!

    1. Thanks Diane. What a buzz! A correspondent from Washington State USA. Goats, Escargot, Bunnies and Chickens? It's a wonder there is anything green in your yard :)

  5. it looks like its a cross! my Richmonds look the same check out my videos on these cukes on youtube:

  6. yellow, no. but our apple cucs turned soo bitter that we removed the whole thriving bush :/

  7. Leaves getting a little yellow at the edges something lacking in nutrients?


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