|Scientific name:||Ecballium elaterium (L.) A.Richard|
|Common name:||Squirting cucumber,Exploding cucumber, Wild Cucumber, Wild Balsam Apple|
|Hebrew name:||ירוקת החמור|
|Arabic name:||قثا الحمار|
|Plant Family:||Cucurbitaceae, דלועיים|
|Stems:||Prostrate, procumbent, basal branching, hispid|
|Leaves:||Alternate, entire, dentate or serrate|
|Flowers:||Pale yellow, trumpet shape, 5 petals, males in a raceme and females solitary|
|Fruits / pods:||Berry, oblong-cylindrical, green, green-yellow when ripe; seeds 25-50, ovoid, brown|
|Flowering Period:||April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December|
|Distribution:||Mediterranean Woodlands and Shrublands, Semi-steppe shrublands|
|Chorotype:||Med - Irano-Turanian|
Derivation of the botanical name:
Ecballium, Greek ekballein, to cast out, referring to the forceful ejection of the seeds when the fruit is ripe (Greek)
elaterium, Greek elatos (to drive, strike), referring to the way in which the seeds are thrown out.referring to the forceful expulsion of seeds from this plant; also the extract is a violent purgative
The Hebrew wordירוקת החמור, Yaroket HaChamor, origin in the Mishna: "The iris, the ivy, squitting cucumber, Greek gourds and clean foodstuffs (הָאֵירוּס וְהַקִּסּוֹם, וְיַרְקוֹת חֲמוֹר, וּדְלַעַת יְוָנִית, וְאֳכָלִים טְהוֹרִים.) (Mishnah Oholot 8), the identification was made according to the Arabic name for the plant: quitta al-himar lit.: donkey's cucumber.
Theophrastus (370 — about 285 BCE), Enquiry into plants, book IX.9.4: "Of wild cucumber the root is used for white leprosy and for mange in sheep, while the extracted juice makes the drug called 'the driver.' It is collected in autumn, for then is the best".
Elaterium (a cathartic) is the feculence of the juice of the fruit of Ecballium Elaterium (Linné).
See the list of Medicinal herbs in Israel, the parts used and their medical uses to treat various diseases.