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All About Little Leaf Cucumbers

Cucumbers are a staple ingredient in many households. You can use them in many different snacks, meals, or appetizers. The versatility of the little leaf cucumber makes healthy eating choices fun and easy!

Created at the University of Arkansas in 1991, little leaf cucumber seeds are now widely available across the United States and the plant grows in a variety of environments. From salad, sandwiches, and pickling, this cucumber is a delicious choice any way you choose to eat it.

Read on to learn everything you need to know about the little leaf cucumber, including where to buy it and tasty recipes for enjoying it.

A closeup of dark green cucumbers that resemble little leaf cucumbers.

Characteristics of the Little Leaf Cucumber


These deep-green skinned fruits might first appear like any other cucumber. But, this little one is unique in its size, texture, and color.

The little leaf cucumber is a compact cucumber that reaches anywhere from 3 to 5 inches long, so it is a bit smaller than most cucumbers, but it definitely does not lack in flavor!

Its crisp, thick skin makes it ideal for many different meals and snacks! The texture of the little leaf cucumber is smoother than the average pickling cucumber, like the national pickling cucumber. The coloring is also a lot darker than some of the other pickling cucumbers.


A platter of cucumber and salmon appetizer snacks.

With a mild taste and signature crunch, it has a sweet and summery flavor. Perfect for a sunny day by the pool with friends!

These cucumbers have a sweet taste that encourages kids to enjoy a healthy snack. They can be eaten raw, pickled, or sliced and mixed into a salad or sandwich filling.


Little leaf cucumber is the perfect healthy snack or addition to any meal! Although it is a rather sweet fruit, it goes well with both sweet dishes and sour snacks.

English Tea Cucumber Sandwiches

A plate of cucumber sandwiches.

Cucumbers aren’t just great to munch on, they can be turned into a drool-worthy meal.

Whether you’re looking for a quick and easy snack or a tasty finger food for an event, this recipe for English Tea Cucumber Sandwiches is sure to hit the spot! In less than half an hour you will have a sweet and savory sandwich filling, delicious for any occasion.

Quick-Pickled Cukes

Who doesn’t love a good, crunchy pickle? Kids devour them and adults love them too! They are a great addition to any dish. This recipe for Quick-Pickled Cukes helps you create a deliciously tangy pickle. Enjoy them on burgers, as a side for your sandwich, in potato and pasta salads, and more.

Cucumber Salad

Are you looking for a mouth-watering salad to use your little leaf cucumbers in? This tangy Cucumber salad is sure to satisfy, whether it is a side dish or an appetizer. Try this refreshing salad recipe on a summer day by the water.

Health Benefits

Closeup of cucumber slices.

Cucumbers are 96% water, which promotes hydration and lowers blood sugar. They are a delicious and healthy snack with powerful antioxidants that reduce a person’s risk of chronic disease.

They are low in calories and filled to the brim with vitamins and minerals, like vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium, and manganese. Eating these cucumbers will provide a lot of the daily value of the vitamins and minerals needed to power your body.

Cucumbers are a healthy and tasty snack that kids and adults alike love! You can add them to many dishes or enjoy them raw and sliced with a vegetable dressing, or pickle them!

To maximize the benefits of the little leaf cucumber, you should eat the fruit unpeeled because the peel contains a high amount of the nutritional content of the fruit.

Growing Your Own

A dark green cucumber on the vine.

The little leaf cucumber variety is popular amongst gardeners because the plants are parthenocarpic, which means they do not require pollination. They are relatively easy plants to grow in many different climates.

The vines on the plants are compact, but multi-branching. Although the plants do branch out some, they are still suitable for container gardening if that is something you are looking for if you do not have a lot of garden space to spare for cucumbers.

The cucumber got its name from the appearance of its leaves because they are smaller than average cucumber leaves, which really helps when you are searching for fruit that is ripe for picking. The leaves are small enough that you can easily see through them to pick whatever is ready.

This variety of cucumber plants yields very well under stressed conditions and will produce continuously until the plant dies. They have the biggest yield when provided with up to 10 hours of direct sunlight each day.

A box of dark green cucumbers.

If you are looking for a worry-free cucumber plant, the little-leaf cucumber plant is a great fit for you! It is highly resistant to bacterial wilt, scab, anthracnose, and angular leaf spot.

Gardeners will have peace of mind with this plant, knowing that it is also resistant to common issues that plague other cucumber plants, such as cucumber mosaic virus and powdery mildew.

Where to Buy Seeds

Cucumber Seedlings

If you want to purchase seeds to plant your own little leaf cucumbers, they are widely available. You can find them at one of our favorite seed retailers, True Leaf Market.

Little leaf cuke seeds are sold in a variety of sizes. You can buy a 1g pack of seeds, or if you prefer to buy in bulk you can choose a selection anywhere from 1 oz to 5 lbs!

Buying the Cucumbers

If you’d prefer to skip the growing-your-own-cucumbers route and just buy fresh little-leaf cucumbers, you can find them at farmers’ markets when cucumbers are in season. You might even be lucky enough to find them in your local grocery produce section — it never hurts to ask!

Give the Little Leaf Cucumber a Try!

A closeup of cucumber and vine tendrils.

If you are looking for a new cucumber variety to try, the little leaf cucumber is a fantastic choice! It’s easy to grow and doesn’t require a lot of attention because it’s highly resistant to typical ailments that gardeners run into with other varieties of cucumber plants.

Cucumber is a delicious treat, no matter how it is prepared and served. These particular cucumbers are perfect for pickling or just to slice up for a side or salad! To learn more about cucumber varieties, please visit our Cucumbers page on the website blog posts, as well as helpful growing and care guides.

Getting started on your seed growing journey? Use my seed starting guide to find care guides, helpful tips, product suggestions, and more!