The Squirting Cucumber (Ecballium elaterium) is a plant species in the Cucurbitaceae family, also known as the Explosive Cucumber. It is known for its unique defense mechanism, where it shoots out a mixture of seeds and liquid from its fruiting body when it is disturbed.
This shooting mechanism can project the seeds up to several meters away from the plant. The plant is found in Mediterranean regions and grows as a vine. Due to its ability to launch seeds in a mucilaginous liquid stream up to six meters away. As a result, plants are less likely to compete for resources close to one another due to such dispersal.
Here are some fun facts about the Squirting Cucumber:
Explosive Dispersal: The Squirting Cucumber is named for its unique ability to shoot its seeds and a sticky liquid from its fruiting body when it is disturbed.
Medicinal Properties: The plant has been used for medicinal purposes in traditional medicine and is believed to have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties.
Quick Movement: The explosive discharge of seeds and liquid from the Squirting Cucumber can happen in just a few tenths of a second.
Unique Anatomy: The plant has a specialized mechanism in its anatomy that allows it to build up pressure before releasing its seeds and liquid.
Rare Species: The Squirting Cucumber is considered a rare species and is not widely cultivated.
These are just a few of the interesting facts about this unique plant species. Its distinctive explosive fruit has attracted gardeners from other regions due to its native Mediterranean origins. Read More – Auricularia polytricha
This is a squirting cucumber
so called because of its ability to launch its seeds in a stream of mucilaginous liquid, up to 6 metres away.
Such dispersal avoids plants competing in close proximity for resources
Video credits: @SmithsonianChanpic.twitter.com/6rGMrel1Bf
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