“These fascinating fruits go out with a bang, having an explosive dehiscence mechanism. Each fruit contains four seeds, which develop under increasing hydrostatic pressure. If birds or small mammals don’t interfere with the fruit before it fully ripens, the fruit will expel its seeds at a speed of 11.5 m/s!”
I’ve never seen that, either! Maybe I should start paying closer attention. What I do know is that after several freezes and thaws, the fleshy vegetation rots away, leaving an intriguing network of fibers reminiscent of a luffa:I couldn’t find any information on wildlife that eats or otherwise benefits from this plant. I do know it provides entertainment for humans, especially the juvenile form. Even the name is fun: echino = hedgehog and cystis = bladder.
Image of bur cucumber leaf and flower by urtica
Image of dried bur cucumber fruit by monteregina
Posted for Wildflower Wednesday, created by Gail of Clay and Limestone, to share wildflowers/native plants no matter where you garden in the blogasphere. It doesn’t matter if we sometimes show the same plants. How they grow and thrive in your garden is what matters most. It’s always the fourth Wednesday of the month!