Cucumber, Squirting (Ecballium elaterium), packet of 10 seeds, organic
Family: Cucurbit (Cucurbitaceae)
Hardy to Zones 8 to 12, otherwise grown as a summer annual, 90 days to fruits.
(Squirting Cucumber) Perennial vine growing from a perennial root. Rare and unusual. Native to the Mediterranean. The plant produces oversized blossoms of yellow that give way to the elongated, horned fruits. As the fruit ripens, it becomes loose at the point of attachment, and when jiggled (or if left long enough, spontaneously) the fruit dislodges from the stipe and forcefully disgorges its seed in a strong spurt. This is an unique dissemination strategy and is very fun to play with. In times gone by, the fruits were picked in season and disgorged onto linen, which was allowed to dry in the sun. The bitter flakes of this dried juice, known as “Elatarin” were dispensed in pharmacies as a strong laxative. Low-dose botanical. Plant prefers deep gravel over soil, full sun to part shade, and moderate watering. Start in spring in pots or in hills. Easy.
10 seeds per packet, Certified Organically Grown