The cucumber is a favorite vegetable of many…but wait…is a cucumber a fruit or a vegetable?

First, what is a cucumber? A popular garden vegetable; popular for eating fresh, preserving in pickles, and adding to salads. The cucumber is the fruit of the Cucumis sativus plant which is a member of the Cucurbitaceae family.

This site contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase using one of these links, I may earn a commission. Please click here for more information about cookies collected and our privacy policy.

Growing up kids always flaunted the knowledge that a tomato is a fruit NOT a vegetable.  And, while yes, that is true, have you ever stopped to think about what makes a vegetable versus what makes a fruit?


Plan your best garden ever with my Yearly Garden Planner. It has planning pages, records sheets and more to help you start seeds, keep track of  pests and disease, and keep track of everything garden related.



Is a Cucumber a Fruit or a Vegetable?


Well, that depends based on who you are asking and what their criteria is for deciding.


According to Science: the cucumber is a fruit

Scientifically speaking, a fruit is the part of a plant that develops from the flower and contains the seeds of the plant.

By this definition, a cucumber is a fruit. It develops from the flower of the cucumber plant and contains the seeds.

This also means that lots of other “vegetables” are also fruits: beans, peppers, pumpkins, peas, and of course, tomatoes.

All other parts of the plant- roots, leaves, stalks, etc- would be the vegetables.


So in the garden- the cucumber is the fruit of the plant. But bring it inside to the kitchen, and you may get a different answer!



Related Reading: Can Dogs Eat Cucumbers?


According to Cooks: the cucumber is a vegetable

In the kitchen and in the culinary world the cucumber would be described as a vegetable. Their less scientific criteria classifies fruits and vegetables based on sweetness and sugar content.

Cucumbers would be considered a vegetable as it is low in sugar and usually used in more savory dishes (though I’ve used them in a few sweeter dishes and they are delicious!)



Does It Really Matter?

NO!  Cucumbers are delicious and have a lot of nutritional value- so no matter if you think a cucumber is a fruit or a vegetable keep on eating them and keep on growing them!


Learn More About Cucumbers:

Check out these articles below to learn more about cucumbers, the benefits of cucumbers, how to store them, and more!

© 2017 – 2018, Sarah R Toney. All rights reserved.