This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
1 The Cucumis sativus of Linnæus.
2 "Lapis specularis." See B. xxxvi. c. 45. Coiumella, De Re Rust. B. xi. c. 3, speaks of this mode of ripening cucumber, and the fondness of the Emperor Tiberius for them.
3 Theophrastus and Columella say the same of the cucumber, and Palladius of the melon, but there is no ground, probably, for the belief. In very recent times, however, Fée says, it was the usage to steep the seeds of the melon in milk. This liquid, in common with any other, would have the effect of softening the exterior integuments, and thereby facilitating the germination, but no more.
4 Still known as the "green" or "gherkin" cucumber, and much used, when young, for pickling.
5 Probably in the sense of a very dark green, for black cucumbers are a thing unheard of.
6 He is evidently speaking of the pompion, or pumpkin, the Cucurbita pepo of Linnæus: quite distinct from the cucumber.
7 Cucumbers are not difficult of digestion to the extent that Pliny would have us to believe.
8 Fée says, it is a loss of time to combat such absurd prejudices as these.
9 This is conformable with modern experience.
10 Fée says that this is the melon, the Cucumis melo of Linnæus.
11 B. xi. c. 3. Columella professes to borrow it from the people of Mendes in Egypt.
12 Theophrastus enumerates these varieties Hist. Plant. B. vii. c. 4.
13 Theophrastus only says that the Laconian cucumber thrives better with watering than the others.
14 It is impossible to identify this plant, as no ancient writer has given any description of it: it has been suggested, however, that it may have been the Plantago Psyllium, or else the Inula pulicaria of Linnæus. Of course there is no truth in the story here told of the effects of its juice upon the cucumber.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.