Daniel Gill, Merrill, Thomas A. | 7/15/2006 1:58:10 AM
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.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture