Ecballium elaterium

Squirting cucumber                                                                            Πικραγγουριά

Cucurbitaceae - cucumber family.                                                                    Dicot.


Ecballium elaterium is a common plant of the roadside and waste-ground. It is regarded by many as a weed but has created interest amongst scientists as an example of a plant with unisexual flowers.

It fascinates children by the way the capsules explode, shooting the seeds over a significant distance, when touched. This gives the plant the common english name - squirting cucumber.

It has long creeping stems  and all parts of the plant are a tough with bristly hairs as would be expected of a flower which lasts throughout the summer. It is difficult to photograph because the hairs scatter the light.

The bright yellow flowers are single sexed, with either male (staminate) flowers occur in clusters and female (pistillate) flowers which occur singly, often arising from the same axil on separate stalks. The ovoid fruit capsules which are are up to 5cm long and contains many seeds

25cm,20-80cm. ☠                                             JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC

The squirting cucumber is another real pest. JAQUELINE TYRWHITT.

Euphorbia characias.
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