Cucurbit Genetics Cooperative Report 12:1617 (article
7) 1989
Seed Weight of Cucumber Cultivars
Todd C. Wehner and Rufus R. Horton, Jr.
Department
of Horticultural Science, North Carolina State University,
Raleigh, NC 276957609
It is useful to know the weight of cucumber seeds for cultivars
being grown for research and production, since many operations
are done by weight even though it is number that is of interest.
For example, to achieve the proper stand, Knott's Handbook
for Vegetable Growers recommends planting 2 to 3 lb/A of
seed (1). The handbook bases that recommendation on its
published value of 1100 seeds/ounce for the typical cucumber
cultivar.
We have observed differences in seed weight among cultivars,
and were interested to know how our measurements compared
with the published estimates. The objective of this study
was to compare seed weights for cucumber cultivars commonly
used for field production in the U.S.A.
Methods. Seeds of 9 different breeding lines and
cultivars (collectively referred to as cultigens hereafter)
were obtained from seeds companies and the N.C. State Univ.
breeding program. The cultigens were chosen to represent
pickling and slicing fruit types, northern and southern
adaptation, and compact, determinate and little leaf plant
types. Seeds were divided into 4 lots of 500 seeds to provide
replication for the measurement of seed weight. Seed weight
was then converted into number of seeds per gram, ounce
and pound for use by those who use those measures.
Results. There was a large range in number of
seeds per ounce among the 9 cultigens and 4 samples counted
(Table 1). Cultivars had between 904 and 1291 seeds per
ounce in the sample counted, ranging 18% below to 17% above
the figure of 1100 seeds per ounce published by Lorenz and
Maynard (1).
The only cultigen that did not fit the general trend for
seed size was the compact (cp cp) type. In addition to
small vine size, that gene results in plants with small,
deformed seeds, and a low percentage of germination. There
are more than twice as many seeds per ounce (approx. 2600)
of the compact type compared to the other cultigens (approx.
1100).
In summary, the published number of seeds is very close
to the value we measured for the cultigens here (excluding
the smallseeded compact type). However, the specific cultigen
being used can diverge significantly from the general value
of 1100 seeds per ounce.
Table 1. Seed number per gram, ounce, and pound for 9 cucumber cultigens of 5 different types.^{z}





Cultigen 
Type 






Sprint 440 
Slicer 






Pioneer 
Pickle 






Calypso 
Pickle 






Sumter 
Pickle 






Dasher II 
Slicer 






M 21 
de de 






Poinsett 76 
Slicer 






Little John 
ll ll 






Compact 
cp cp 







LSD (5%) 







CV (%) 







Mean (all cultigens) 







Mean (compact excluded) 






^{z} Data are from 4 replications of 500
seeds each. Cultigens are pickling, slicing, compact
(cp), determine (de) or little leaf (ll) types. 
Literature Cited
 Lorenz, O.A. and D.N. Maynard. 1980. Knott's Handbook
for Vegetable Growers, 2nd edition. John Wiley and Sons,
New York. p. 57.