Thursday, April 5, 2012

Ecballium elaterium - a.k.a Squirting Cucumber

This is an extremely fascinating plant. When I heard about it, I knew I had to use it for my letter E. Why? Only because it does the coolest thing I've ever heard of in terms of plant reproduction. When ripe, the little cucumbers literally squirt a stream of gelatinous goo containing its seeds, which is released at a speed of over 30 mph and can be seen with the naked eye. Thereby earning it the moniker Squirting Cucumber.

Ecballium elaterium is poisonous, and you are unlikely to find the seeds at your local nursery.  But, for those who happen to live where they grow wild, or if you're in zone 9-11 and can get some plants for your garden (there are several places to buy the seeds online), they are sure to provide lots of fun, as the fruit will also "squirt" when it is disturbed.. In this video, a man hits a patch of Squirting Cucumber with a stick. He is standing tall above the plant, but yet he gets hit in the face by flying cucumber goo and seeds!



I mean... how cool is this plant?? People who deny a creator might be able to postulate the incremental mutations that made the Squirting Cucumber into a plant that launches its seeds for reproduction. But I'm just going to marvel in the awesome ideas my God has.

Here's an interesting little factoid. It has been proposed that the unidentified plant in the corner of Botticelli's "Venus and Mars" painting (c.1483) is actually the Ecballium elaterium.


Names of God - E.
End * El-Elyon * El-Roi * El-Shaddai * El-Olam * Eternal * Everlasting

17 comments:

  1. Doesn't that beat all! I have never heard of this before!

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  2. amazing---yes i bet it is in the painting

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    1. Hi Lynn. I almost elaborated on why it would be appropriate for the painting's theme, but decided against it.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. Hi Christine, thanks for stopping by today! I love faith-oriented blogs like yours. My theme is similar in that it is impossible for Earth and for us to be here by accident. Too many things have to go right and that we are not a galactic mistake.

    And the squirting cucumber is unique to say the least. I learned something new today.

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    1. Hi! Thanks! I'm really enjoying your blog also.

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  4. Seriously the coolest plant ever! You are right. And I think God had a lot to do with it. He makes the best stuff. Greetings from a fellow A to Z blogger.

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    1. Yes, he does! Thanks for stopping by!

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  5. Very interesting and fascinating! I'm sure God has a great sense of humor!

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    1. I agree this plant shows his sense of humor. Thanks for stopping by!

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  6. Very interesting. I like this. Great learning new things and meeting new people. I'm just A to Z-ing it.

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  7. There are some really cool plants out there. When I was a child, I love a plant that had small yellow flowers. It is kind of a weed I think, and it had this fruit. When you touched the fruit, it popped open and all the seeds flew out!

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    1. I saw some videos of those too. They are nicknamed exploding cucumber! Thanks for stopping by!

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