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Plant Informational Database

Exploding Cucumber

Cyclanthera explodens

A vigorous vine bearing strange, spiny green fruits that "explode" (actually burst open) when ripe, expelling their seeds several feet away.

Seed Availability

Seeds are not available for the Exploding Cucumber. Please visit our seed store to view current selections.


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

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.


By seeds.


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

Native range extends from Southern Mexico through Colombia and Ecuador.

Additional Pictures

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Related Species

Cucumis metuliferus
Horned Melon
Cucumis zeyheri
South African Spiny Cucumber
Cucurbita ficifolia
Malabar Gourd
Cucurbita pepo
Spaghetti Squash
Cyclanthera explodens
Exploding Cucumber
Kedrostis leloja
Kedrostis leloja
Luffa cylindrica
Sicana odorifera