Definitions

Ecballium_elaterium

Ecballium elaterium

Ecballium elaterium, also called the squirting cucumber or exploding cucumber, is a plant in the cucumber family. It gets its unusual name from the fact that, when ripe, it squirts a stream of mucilaginous liquid containing its seeds, which can be seen with the naked eye. It is thus considered to have rapid plant movement.

It is native to Europe, northern Africa, and temperate areas of Asia. It is grown as an ornamental plant elsewhere, and in some places it has naturalized.

This plant, and especially its fruit, is poisonous. In the ancient world it saw use as an abortifacient.

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