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Squirting Cucumber

Week 17
Year 2016
Elegant Sunburst Lichen (Xanthoria elegans) by Björn S...
Image Credit: Gif made by GIFsBOOM from Smithsonian Channel - YouTube[1]

“Seeds disappear into the distance like rockets”, is a well fit quote for Botany Oddity that was made by a Smithsonian Channel video on Youtube.[1] Once ripe, the Squirting Cucumber, or Ecballium elaterium, has built up a high internal pressure in its fruit. After the plant is disturbed, the fruit releases the built up pressure with a rocket-like propulsion. Instead of blasting out flames and exhaust, seeds and a slimy liquid squirt out of the stem hole to colonize nearby soil.[2] Although cucumber is in the name, don’t eat the fruit. Along with other ill effects, one major consequence of ingestion of the fruit includes death.[3]

Do you know any fun facts or tips?


[1]: "Smithsonian Channel - Unbelievable Footage of Exploding Plants." YouTube. June 11, 2015. Accessed May 09, 2016.

[2]: Grant, Amy. "Squirting Cucumber Plants: What Are Squirting Cucumbers And Where Do They Grow." Gardening Know How. September 15, 2015. Accessed May 09, 2016.

[3]: Rich, L. A. "Ecballium Elaterium." Plants for a Future. Accessed May 09, 2016.