Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sowing Timun Tikus seeds (Zehneria)

How many times bank slips, address on a piece of paper, dollar notes, and seeds tucked in pocket ended in washing machine and spoiled. I reminded Fauzi, a friend staying in a gorgeous an acre property in Tanah Merah, as he was about to leave the house with roselle seeds in his pocket. Fauzi is an old friend since the days of late 80's.

I came back from a meeting 3 weeks ago at Swiss Garden Resort some 20 km away from Pantai Remis with seeds in my pocket. Some are taken from Rosiah garden, my younger sister, some from Mother in Law's garden and some are collected from flowering plants as we stopped along the highway.  The seeds were germinated right away. Timun tikus has to be the special one for months to come.

Timun tikus seedling.
I have known about timun tikus, the miniature cucumber but never actually seen one growing. It is a rare opportunity indeed to actually grow them with seeds given by MIL. After googling, I think this will describe timun tikus best:.........

 monoecious or dioecious climbing annual or perennial herbs. Tendrils simple. Leaves simple, dentate, usually palmately lobed. Male inflorescence an axillary raceme, sometimes paniculate by leaf reduction, or cluster or rarely flowers solitary. Male flowers: hypanthium campanulate; calyx 5-lobed; corolla 5-lobed; stamens 3, inserted about middle of hypanthium; connective broad, papillose; anthers 2-locular. Female inflorescence an axillary raceme or cluster or flowers solitary. Female flowers: perianth similar to male; staminodes 3; ovary usually globose or ovoid; ovules few to many, horizontal; stigma usually 3-lobed. Fruit fleshy, usually globose or ellipsoidal, indehiscent, few to many-seeded. Seeds obovate, compressed, smooth. 

A genus of c. 35 species of Africa, SE Asia to the SW Pacific including N and E Australia; 2 species in Australia; 1 species on Christmas Is. Included in trib. Melothrieae. ( Refer here : "Zehneria". Flora of Australia Online. Australian Biological Resources Study. 1993. Retrieved 2010-11-20.)

Two timun tikus seedlings ready to be moved to the ground

The raised bed for these seedlings had been prepared, and in fact I was terribly lavish, putting in cocopeat, rice husk, organic fertiliser and sand, mixed them well and watered. The two seedlings will set foot or rather roots on the ground in a day or two. I do hope they will grow healthy and produce numerous little cucumbers like these.
timun tikus, from 

bangchik and kakdah
Tanah Merah Kelantan


  1. Another interesting and exciting plant in your garden!

  2. Very interesting. Never heard of it and never seen it before. Love it when I learn something new.

  3. Oooo... this is the small cucumbers!! It has been a very long time since I last saw this. Do keep posting about this.

  4. Such an unusual cucumber! You'll have to tell us how they taste :) How do you grow such vegies in a hot tropical climate?

  5. ~Theanne and Baron
    ~Food so delicious
    ~Mrs Bok - The Bok Flock.

    Thanks everyone.

    It seems that this small thumb sized cucumber, is endemic to Malaysia and some other South East Asian countries. Grandmothers may relate gardening stories about this particular plant. It is generally known as timun kecil, but in some places it is referred to as timun tikus. Zehneria is the general scientific name.

    And now not many grow this little cucumber. It is like a plant from the old world that fails to get into the mainstream of modern life.

    Being so small, these little cucumbers has every potential to be marketed as pickles. Being thumb sized, they can easily be pickled and fit neatly in a jar.

    Recently Kakdah bought a kilo of these cucumbers from Farmers Market in Machang. The taste is definitely cucumber 100%.

    I will do regular updates on this special cucumber from the old world.... endemic to tropical climate of south east Asia. Stay tune....

    Cheers, Happy Gardening.
    ~ bangchik and kakdah
    Tanah Merah, Kelantan

  6. Bangchik, I never seen timun tikus before, another Vegetable that I am learning from you. I have to really explore Pantai Timur market when I come back so I can impress my mother in-law next time.

  7. They are called Tonde kai here. I didn't know that they can be grown from seed. We usually plant a cutting in the rainy season.

  8. Nice Article, So Much Info I know from this article..

    Maybe u can visit my blog too there is more info about garden..

    Thanks Before :)

  9. ~ Malay-Kadazan girl
    Impressing MIL is something I am not very familiar with. You may try with timun kecil.... or a nice kain or selindang or whatever from down under where you are staying now. A blogger friend asked me if I have any timun tikus seeds, many months ago. Finally she got it from Terengganu, There you go MKG... :)

    ~bangchik and kakdah

  10. ~ lotusleaf
    Oh.., from cutting? I will do experiment later, if it works. Then it will be easy to continue growing them... Tonde kai sounds nice..

    ~ Zee
    Thanks for your visit. Anything from the old world like timun tikus must have enough in them to survive for million of years. Its the hybrids I am worried about..., can they really survive without excessive use of pesticides. Just like "ayam daging" reared in thousands..., how they fail miserably in the outside world.... I will visit ur blog.

    Thanks, happy gardening.
    ~bangchik and kakdah
    Taman Kota Harmoni, Tanah Merah.

  11. Timun tikus? This is interesting for me too! Looking forward for more update post on it!

  12. ~ Malar
    So many plants from the old world fail to move on with modernisation. Just look at bamboo... Not many grow bamboo, so must so that making lemang for raya is getting tougher. Timun is also in the same state.

  13. Ive loved stoppin by your bloggy garden seeing what you will grow next.Cant wait to see how they work in your garden.

  14. ~Comeca Jones
    Thanks for the visit, now they are at sixth leaves.... I will do an update soon.

  15. Comelnya timun ni..
    Berapa sekilo jual ni..

    1. Tak sempat rasa pun.... sedap2 pokok berbunga kami pindah ke Johor.

  16. I'm confused between Zehneria and Ivy gourd. It is a different name but from pictures given, this referred to ivy gourd. Is there any update about this plant looks like? I would love to see it.

    1. Both seem from the same family. It was about to flower that I moved to Johor..... so no updates. I think I still have spare seeds somewhere....

  17. Saya nak beli biji benih dari tuan boleh? Rasa timun yang tuan tanam ni tak pahit kan....


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