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botanical name:
Ecballium elaterium
Ecballium elaterium © Deeproot Plant Base
common name:  Wild Cucumber, Squirting Cucumber
family:  Cucurbitaceae
characteristics: perennial
height: 0.30m
width: 1.00m
growth rate: medium
growth habit: semi-prostrate
leaf colour: grey-green
flower colour: yellow
fruit colour: grey-green
stem/bark: grey-green
main season: Summer
poison symbol poisonous or irritant
medicinal symbol medicinal
aspect: full sun
conditions: dry soil, moist soil, sandy soil
preferred soil pH: any
minimum temp: -5°C
USDA zone: 9 to 10
description:
Trailing to slightly bushy perennial with lobed, bristly leaves. Funnel-shaped yellow flowers about 25mm across. Bristly ovoid grey-green fruits carried on long stalks. When ripe they split near the base quite suddenly, squirting out the seed in a in a mucilaginous liquid.

cultivation:
Well drained, moist to dry, light sandy or gritty soil in full sun. Will grow in poor soils. Dislikes excessive winter wet. Top growth is frost tender but the roots will survive a few degrees below zero.

propagation:
From seed

usage:
Has various medicinal uses.

other notes:
Common wildflower from the Mediterranean, normally found on sandy and stony ground, grassland and wasteground. Occasionally naturalized further north, including a few locations on the south coast of Britain.

Slightly toxin if ingested in large quantities, may also be a skin irritant for some people.

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