Perennial herbaceous plant with a prostrate or ascending stem, reaching 1 m long, all covered with hard hairs (rough-hard). The leaves are alternate, long-petiolate; leaf blades are heart-shaped or triangular, crenate-toothed, pubescent below with whitish short hairs. Flowers unisexual; stamens are collected in lateral few-flowered brushes, and pistillate flowers on long pedicels are located in the leaf axils. Both types of flowers are five-dimensional – a five-toothed calyx and a five-leaved yellow fused corolla with 5 large lobes in the upper part. Stamens 5, of which 4 are fused in pairs, and the fifth is free. Pistil of 3 carpels with a lower ovary. The fruit is elliptical, green, 3-5 cm long, planted with prickly bristles, similar to a berry – pumpkin, containing many brown seeds. under high fluid pressure, contained in the fruit, it is separated from the stalk and the seeds in it are thrown out with force outward at a distance of 1-2 m from the plant. Blooms in July-September.
It grows in weedy places along the Black Sea coast, in the Caucasus, less often in the North Caucasus.
For medicinal purposes, the juice of green fruits is used. The juice contains elatherin, a substance that is highly irritating to the skin and mucous membranes. Elaterin is a strong poison. When taken internally, even a small amount of it can cause bloody gastroenteritis with diarrhea and emaciation. In appropriate strictly defined doses, it has a laxative effect; recommended for dropsy, hemorrhoids, chronic rhinitis, sinusitis, etc.
Apply with great care.