ecballium

Ecballium

Ec*bal"li*um\, n. [NL., fr. Gr. ?. See Ecbole.] (Bot.) A genus of cucurbitaceous plants consisting of the single species Ecballium agreste (or Elaterium), the squirting cucumber. Its fruit, when ripe, bursts and violently ejects its seeds, together with a mucilaginous juice, from which elaterium, a powerful cathartic medicine, is prepared.
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.
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