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ecballium elaterium

By CarolG  
Ecballium elaterium, more commonly known as the squirting cucumber, is a plant in the cucumber/gourd family. It gets its name from the fact that when ripe it squirts a stream of liquid containing its seeds, this is able to be seen by the naked eye. The seeds can travel anything up to 20 ft from the plant. It is suspected to provide food for the caterpillars of the tortrix moth, phtheochroa rugosana.
This plant, especially its fruit, is poisonous, and in the ancient world it was considered to be an abortifacient (cause of miscarriage). In Turkey the fresh fruit of this plant is directly applied into the nostrils for the treatment of sinusitis. It is also considered an analgesic, anti-rheumatic, anti-cancer, and purgative drug.
A species of ladybird lives entirely on this plant, henosipalachna elaterii or gourd ladybird, She is an orange brown colour with 12 black spots. She feeds and rests on the plant and also mates and hatches her eggs on it. The hatched larvae also feed on the plant and later form their pupa. In other words, the ladybird is totally dependent on the plant throughout her whole life cycle.

Feeling just a teensy weensy bit brighter this morning, but will only be voting for another couple of days yet, don't want to run before I can walk Smile Let's hope the start of a new week will bring me renewed vigour and strength Smile

Tags: Wildlife Nature Macro General Flower Close-up Flowers and plants Close-up and macro Wildlife and nature

Voters: ColleenA, Andysnapper, KarenFB and 61 more

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ColleenA Plus
5 362 6 Australia
22 Nov 2013 5:58AM
What an interesting set Carol, all 4 complimenting your story...a squirting cucumber does not sound great GrinGrinGrin stunning photography as usual, the ladybird is too cute.

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Andysnapper 10 109 25 England
22 Nov 2013 6:25AM
A super series of shots and another interesting and informative write up, lovely. Glad you are beginning to perk up a bit.

LynneJoyce Plus
9 20 99 United Kingdom
22 Nov 2013 6:55AM
Absolutely fascinating description and a particularly well taken series of images.

Have a restful weekend.
Caziwinkles 5 3 1 United Kingdom
22 Nov 2013 7:02AM
Superb and fascinating Carol. Amazing detail in these images.
Have a UA to cheer you up. Smile

SUE118 Plus
9 8 1 United Kingdom
22 Nov 2013 7:22AM
4 beautiiful and fascinating images Carol and the Ladybird is so cute. Get well sonn my friend thinking of you.
barbarahirst 9 27 12 United Kingdom
22 Nov 2013 7:26AM
never seen such a hairy flower
AnnChown Plus
8 207 1 United Kingdom
22 Nov 2013 7:43AM
That's fascinating and lovely to see the ladybird too!
22 Nov 2013 8:08AM
Super set Carol,
viscostatic 11 36 5 United Kingdom
22 Nov 2013 8:25AM
Really interesting information Carol but, above all, really beautiful images, especially V1 and V4.

CaroleS Plus
8 433 3 United Kingdom
22 Nov 2013 8:38AM
Very good images and a most interesting and fascinating background.
Ted447 Plus
5 213 1 United Kingdom
22 Nov 2013 9:25AM
Another set of stunning images. TedGrinGrin
9 10 10 England
22 Nov 2013 10:07AM
Think you're showing remarkable strength being able to post your lovely images Carol.Smile
22 Nov 2013 10:47AM
all perfect
Joline Plus
11 30 53 United States
22 Nov 2013 1:12PM
A fascinating botany lesson, and great photos.
22 Nov 2013 1:20PM
Lovely set and interesting write-up, Carol. Amazingly hairy flower. V1 & V4 Excellent SmileSmile
My thoughts are with you Smile

22 Nov 2013 1:55PM
What a fascinating and informative upload, Carol!
I do hope you are back on top form soon.
Best wishes,
annettep38 Plus
6 218 40 Costa Rica
22 Nov 2013 2:04PM
a great photo and what an interesting write up. My 'common' cucumbers looks very similar but they don't attack me!
TonyDy Plus
9 10 3 United Kingdom
22 Nov 2013 2:53PM
Superb set, Carol - hope the good feelings continue.
22 Nov 2013 3:16PM
A teacher of Bio science would feel happy to see this.
ChiliMan 11 135 17 Singapore
22 Nov 2013 3:18PM
Thoroughly fabulous photographic and verbal reportage on this fascinating plant, Carol.

Glad there's some improvement Smile Hopefully LOTS more this weekend.

achieverswales 7 8 101 Wales
22 Nov 2013 3:34PM
Wonderful details on all CarolV1 for me.


TrevBatWCC Plus
9 12 12 England
22 Nov 2013 3:46PM
A superb and intersting set, Carol, and an equally interesting write-up too Smile
Good to hear you're perking up a bit, take care,
Trev Smile
ali63 Plus
6 775 1 United Kingdom
22 Nov 2013 4:21PM
Excellent work Carol, good to hear you are feeling a bit better SmileSmileSmile

SlowSong Plus
9 7.4k 30 England
22 Nov 2013 4:44PM
Looks like you're having a fuzzy day Smile
evelen 13 5 England
22 Nov 2013 6:27PM
great set of shots glad you are feeling a bit better.
Maiwand 11 3 73 England
22 Nov 2013 7:05PM

Quote:What an interesting set Carol, all 4 complimenting your story...a squirting cucumber does not sound great GrinGrinGrin stunning photography as usual, the ladybird is too cute.

Just about sums it all up Carol. Super series.GrinGrinGrinGrinGrinGrinGrinGrinGrinGrinGrin
22 Nov 2013 7:43PM
Excellent captures in great detail and a pretty informative writing about this singular plant !
Lillian Plus
8 22 17 United Kingdom
22 Nov 2013 7:59PM
Carole these are all so very sharp and a delight to view
Hope soon feeling better
Hermanus 5 4 South Africa
23 Nov 2013 5:00AM
Super info to accompany this excellent set Carol !! Get healed up soon !
Chinga Plus
7 3 1 United Kingdom
24 Nov 2013 12:31PM
Green and some bugs to tease us! Priceless! GrinGrin
Mavis Plus
16 143 2 England
25 Nov 2013 9:23AM
Spectacular images Carol xx
bobsblues 8 10 2 United Kingdom
20 Jan 2014 8:02AM
So now I know Carol great set of images funny how you get behind everybody's pics when you are busy .


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