Sunday, April 10, 2011

Timun tikus (Zehneria) got me worried

 Timun tikus is little cucumber, great great grandmothers used to grow in Malaysia. It falls within the bigger family of Zehneria which is found in many tropical areas worldwide. It varies from region to region. The introduction of commercial cucumbers eventually push timun tikus to oblivion. Land clearings, and immaculate modern garden and landscaping work, leave no room for timun tikus. It is endemic to our country so there is every reason, for timun tikus to stay in our garden, and highlighted regularly in this blog.

close-up of timun tikus leaf
Timun tikus

Timun tikus coming up to the top of trellis.
9 April 2011

Earlier photo: timun tikus strengthening its base.
18 march 2011

Sowing Timun Tikus seeds (Zehneria)   was the earliest post  on Sunday, February 20, 2011 .   By March the three timun tikus were getting stronger, strengthening the base as much as they can before pushing climbers up. Their tendrils are a little bit small. They are ready to grab tiny things like grass, and I notice they are not accustomed to gripping on bigger things like bamboo stakes. So, I tied raffia string all over to help them. Again, the tendrils almost didn't notice. Oh well, they don't like my proactive approach.

    The earlier leaves are quite full, but  later leaves are more fan-like with three lobes. Dealing with this zehneria or timun tikus for the first time is full of surprises. But when are they going to bloom?

bangchik and kakdah
 Tanah Merah, Kelantan


  1. The Timun tikus growing in your garden look very healthy! I understand that you're concerned because they haven't bloomed, this is the time blooms should have appeared. Very distressing...hopefully very soon a bloom will grace you with its presence!

  2. Sedap buat ulam
    The fruits are small as a rat and the ripe will have a red seed.

  3. Foliage look very different from the commercial cucumber plants.I was just wondering if you have received the sunflower seeds.

  4. ..... Theanne and Baron
    thanks.., adventure into the unknown is fun, but too many questions keep surfacing, all centred towards what, when, why etc.... The little cucumber, timun tikus is in a different plant family, so my experience with the timings on cucumber is of no use here. Cucumber should have flowered now, but timun tikus is having fun, crawling and climbing.

    ..... Tabib
    I thought timun tikus refers to little cucumber loved by rats. So tikus in the name refers to size. I am waiting, for a weekend with timun tikus as ulam!

  5. .... Malay-Kadazan girl
    I have received them. Sow them last week, three of the giant variety had germinated. I am now imagining sunflower head as big as dinner plate!... .


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