Are Baby Cucumbers Seedless?

Q: Due to a medical condition, my wife can’t eat seeds. However, she longs for pickles. We understand gerkins are seedless. Does this apply to all baby cucumbers? 

A: The pickled items that we call gherkins are indeed baby cucumbers. They may look similar, but a true gherkin is not a baby cucumber. They both belong to the gourd family but they are from different cultivar groups. Cucumbers are Cucumis sativus but true gherkins belong to another genus entirely, Melothria.

Getting back to your question, almost all cucumbers have seeds when they are mature but baby cucumbers (pickling gherkins) are picked before seeds start forming. I am not a plant physiologist, but I think it is reasonable to assume that if you grow cucumbers in your garden, the babies will have negligible seeds.

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