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Exploding cucumbers

August 8, 2010

We’ve recently spent a couple of weeks dog-sitting which has had some unexpected benefits. During morning and evening walks we’ve been exploring parts of the village that we hadn’t seen before. Having Fido on a lead seems to give some legitimacy to wandering down unmarked lanes, peak around hidden corners and the like.

One of the other amusements has been finding patch after patch of ripe exploding cucumbers.  At this time of year the plant produces seed pods which are the size and shape of a very small cucumber.  Once ripe the pods explode when gently tapped, releasing both seeds and a liquid.  The force within the seed pod is so great that the seeds can be propelled 15 feet or more as they explode.

Time after time the intention was to take a camera and grab a photo or two to add to a blog piece about these extraordinary, and highly entertaining, plants.

Today it seems that Nigel from Tales from the Marshes has beaten us to it, complete with photo.

Enjoy!

Exploding cucumbers Here’s one of the things we’ll miss from Cyprus, and we only encountered it during its fruiting season just before we left the island. Exploding cucumbers do what it says on the packet – as they ripen they build up a high pressure inside and, when lightly touched, the small, hairy cucumber-fruit bit pops violently. Clearly a great strategy for dist … Read More

via Nigel’s tales from the Marshes

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