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Ecballium – Wikipedia

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– Distribution:
– E. elaterium is native to Europe, northern Africa, and temperate areas of Asia.
– Considered an invasive species.
– Grown as an ornamental plant in other regions.
– Has naturalized in some places.
– Ecballium elaterium is the scientific name.

Seed dispersal:
Fruit tissue of Ecballium elaterium has large, thin-walled cells.
– Facilitates propulsive release of seeds by squirting.
– Pressure to expel seeds created by elaterinidin concentration in fruit sap.
Turgor pressure can reach up to 27 atms.
– Movement of fruit and seeds facilitated by hygroscopic movement and stored elastic energy.

– History in folk medicine:
– Elaterium, a cucurbitacin extract, used historically as a purgative.
– Discovered by Stirling in 1835.
– Elaterin extracted from elaterium by chloroform.
– British pharmacopeia contained Pulvis Elaterini Compositus.
– In modern times, elaterium is considered a poison with harmful effects.

– References:
Plant List and CABI provide information on Ecballium elaterium.
– Physics of rapid movements in plants studied by Forterre et al.
– Germplasm Resources Information Network offers data on Ecballium elaterium.
Seed Biology book by Kozlowski delves into seed dispersal mechanisms.
– Studies on turgor differences in Phloem of Ecballium elaterium by Sheikholeslam and Currier.

– External links:
– Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ecballium elaterium.
– NatureServe reference number: 2.140072.

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