Cucumis sativus, Cucumber king and Cucumber castle





It is hot and humid here around these days, so I’ve prepared some cucumber salad for lunch today. Before making salad I couldn’t resist taking some photos of them. For you know, we say ”it is pickled cucumbers time”, meaning it is hot summer, nothing special is happening, except cucumbers are pickled.I do not know how have cucumbers arrived into such a saying, but you bet they have arrived even further! Tiberius, as writes Plinius, ate cucumbers each single day of a year! For this reason first glasshouses were built, to grow cucumbers all year around! Then in Burma, around c. 1000, a farmer killed a king for stealing his cucumbers, and by a legend, became a king Nyaung-u Sawrahan, a Cucumber king! It for sure is a made up story, for who would kill anyone for a cucumber, but it is interesting that similar cucumber motifs remain in some other stories and legends from the region. And as cucumbers reasoned the first glasshouses, as they have a king named after them, they should have a castle , too! Here it is:

According to Pliny, the Emperor Tiberius had the cucumber on his table daily during summer and winter. The Romans reportedly used artificial methods (similar to the greenhouse system) of growing to have it available for his table every day of the year. “Indeed, he was never without it; for he had raised beds made in frames upon wheels, by means of which the cucumbers were moved and exposed to the full heat of the sun; while, in winter, they were withdrawn, and placed under the protection of frames glazed with mirrorstone.”Template:Book XIX, Ch. 23 from:





By Tamara Jare

Slovenian figurative painter. Love colors and light.

5 replies on “Cucumis sativus, Cucumber king and Cucumber castle”

I’m told that in Finnish the words for cucumber and for crane (the large, long-necked bird) are the same. Since cranes would have been present in Finland longer than the Finns, and their language is thought to have migrated across Russia from the Caspian (with cranes familiar all the way), the meaning of “crane” is presumably the older and cucumbers were named after the birds, much as English-speakers named those tall-necked machines for lifting and moving heavy objects after them.


This is an interesting hypothesis! Etymology can tell a lot about history! In Slovene language cucumber is KUMARA, I do not know any similar words in our language!


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