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[[{{{domain}}}]] > [[{{{superregnum}}}]] > Plantae > [[{{{subregnum}}}]] > [[{{{superdivisio}}}]] > [[{{{superphylum}}}]] > [[]] > [[{{{phylum}}}]] > [[{{{subdivisio}}}]] > [[{{{subphylum}}}]] > [[{{{infraphylum}}}]] > [[{{{microphylum}}}]] > [[{{{nanophylum}}}]] > [[{{{superclassis}}}]] > [[]] > [[{{{subclassis}}}]] > [[{{{infraclassis}}}]] > [[{{{superordo}}}]] > [[]] > [[{{{subordo}}}]] > [[{{{infraordo}}}]] > [[{{{superfamilia}}}]] > [[]] > [[{{{subfamilia}}}]] > [[{{{supertribus}}}]] > [[{{{tribus}}}]] > [[{{{subtribus}}}]] > [[]] {{{subgenus}}} {{{sectio}}} {{{series}}} var.

Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture

Ecballium (Greek, to throw out). Cucurbitaceae. Squirting Cucumber. A perennial trailing vine, easily grown as an annual in any garden, cultivated for its explosive fruits.

When ripe, the oblong prickly fr. squirts its seeds at the slightest touch, or sometimes at the mere vibration of the ground made by a person walking by. Some of the old herbalists called this plant Cucumis asininus. Another curious fact about the plant is that a powerful cathartic is made from the juice of the fr., which has been known for many centuries. A preparation of it is still sold in the drugstores as Trituratio Elaterini. The drug "elaterium" is derived from the juice of the fr. Ecballium has only 1 species, and is closely related to the important genera Cucumis and Citrullus. With them it differs from Momordica in lacking the 2 or 3 scales which close the bottom of the calyx. Other generic characters are: prostrate herb, fleshy, rough hairy: lvs. heart-shaped, more or less 3-lobed: tendrils wanting: fls. yellow, the staminate in racemes, pistillate usually from the same axils with the staminate fls.; calyx 5-cut. It is a native of the middle and eastern Medit. regions, especially in rich moist forests.


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