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The Wild Cucumber.

Botanical name:

Cucumis asininus.

THIS, though called wild, is not a native of England. It spreads upon the ground in the manner of the other cucumber, and its branches grow to a considerable length; they are thick, hairy, angulated, and of a pale green and tough. The leaves are broad at the base, and narrow at the point, serrated round the edges, and of a pale green above, and whitish below. The flowers are yellow, and moderately large; the fruit is of an oval figure, hairy, and full of juice. Care must be taken in touching it when ripe, for the sharp juice flies out with violence.

The juice of the fruit is pressed out, and a thick matter that subsides from it is separated and dried; the druggists keep this and call it elatherium, it is a violent purgative, but little used.


The Family Herbal, 1812, was written by John Hill.



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