Effect of wounding on floral and vegetative development in Ecballium elaterium (L.) A. rich (Cucurbitaceae)
'Ecballium elaterium' belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family. In the flowering phase of 'E. Elaterium', mature flowers develop in a sequence with male flowers developing first, followed by both male and female flowers and then only female flowers. This study demonstrates the effects of mechanically wounded hypocotyls on vegetative and floral development. Unlike control plants where the floral sequence was distinct, wounded plants did not display a distinct sequence. Wounded plants also showed an increase in the rate of flower initiation and an increase in the production of male and female flowers. Wounded plants further displayed an increase in the production of leaves, had larger leaf areas, longer stems and more nodes. These results were statistically significant for about two weeks following wounding. Thereafter, the difference between wounded and non-wounded plants was statistically insignificant. This study leads to a better understanding on the effect of wounding on 'E. elaterium' development.