Exploding Cucumber
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Exploding Cucumber
aturalized Photo: Anil Thakur
Common name: Exploding Cucumber
Botanical name: Cyclanthera brachystachya    Family: Cucurbitaceae (Pumpkin family)
Synonyms: Cyclanthera explodens, Cyclanthera glauca

Exploding Cucumber is a fast-growing vine with long tendrils. Grows best with support, e.g. a trellis or arbor, but can be left to grow along the ground. Once roots are established the vine will grow in all directions, sending shoots up to 10-15 feet long. Leaves are palmately lobed. Very small yellow flowers are formed in clusters with male and female flowers forming separately on the same plant. Female flowers are followed by spiny fruits growing up to 2 inches. When mature the fruits show a subtle color change to green-white and pop open, expelling their seeds several feet away. It is propagated by its puzzle piece -shaped seed, and grown in conditions similar to other cucurbits like cucumbers and melons. Exploding Cucumber is a native of South America, widely cultivated in temperate climates. Cultivated in the Himalayas in India.

Identification credit: Anil Thakur Photographed in Himachal Pradesh.

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