A vigorous vine bearing strange, spiny green fruits that "explode" (actually burst open) when ripe, expelling their seeds several feet away.
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 to 10-15 feet long. 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 to 2". When mature the fruits show a subtle color change to green-white and pop open, expelling their seeds several feet away. Though unlikely, care should be taken near maturing fruits to avoid seeds being shot into ones eye. Grows in pretty much any soil type.
Annual. Not frost hardy.
Growing environment is similar to most cucumbers and melons. Loves warm, hot climates with regular watering. Once established the plant is vigorous, with fast growth in all directions up to 10-15 feet.
Most commonly grown as an ornamental novelty for its odd fruits. The fruits, while fun to look at are supposedly edible, possibly used raw when young and at maturity cooked.
Native range extends from Southern Mexico through Colombia and Ecuador.
South African Spiny Cucumber