Cuculoupe Not Real After All

Daniel Gill, Merrill, Thomas A.  |  7/15/2006 1:58:10 AM

News Release Distributed 07/14/06

Although a Houma couple’s discovery of what was thought to be "cuculoupe" in their garden has been touted in media across the country, experts now say further study revealed it isn’t a new vegetable or fruit after all.

Home vegetable gardeners in Houma recently contacted their local LSU AgCenter office and made the news with a fruit said to have resulted from a cross between a cucumber and a cantaloupe. They named the unusual looking fruit a "cuculoupe."

LSU AgCenter specialists now say, however, the "cuculoupe" isn’t a "cuculoupe."

"Although cucumbers and cantaloupes are related, they belong to different species," LSU AgCenter horticulturist Dr. Jimmy Boudreaux explains. "As a result of the genetic differences between them, cucumbers and cantaloupes cannot successfully cross-pollinate each other.

"That means that the so-called ‘cuculoupe’ cannot be the result of a cross between a cantaloupe and cucumber."

LSU AgCenter horticulturist Dan Gill and other experts say the odd-looking produce in question most closely resembles a vegetable known as the Armenian cucumber.

"Despite its common name, the Armenian cucumber actually is a melon," Gill explains, adding it belongs to the same species as muskmelons and cantaloupes, "Cucumis melo."

"It is possible a stray Armenian cucumber seed was in a package of cucumber or cantaloupe seeds that were planted into the garden," Gill says.

For help with your lawn and garden questions or if you need information on a variety of topics ranging from crops and livestock to food and health, visit www.lsuagcenter.com or contact your parish LSU AgCenter Extension office.

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Contact: Dan Gill at (225) 578-2222 or dgill@agcenter.lsu.edu
Editor: Tom Merrill at (225) 578-2263 or tmerrill@agcenter.lsu.edu

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