Echinocystis lobata
(Wild Cucumber)

Other pictures of this plant:

               Seedpod                                           Leaf                                            Stem                                        Seed                                          Habit

Facts About this Plant:

    Common Names: Wild Cucumber, Bur Cucumber, Prickly Cucumber, Balsam Apple
    Synonyms: Micrampelis lobata, Sicyos lobata
    Lifespan: Annual
    Zones: N/A
    Type: Forb
    Bloom Time: July - September
    Status: Native

Echinocystis lobata, or Wild Cucumber, is an annual vine native to the northeastern, north-central and north-midwestern United States, and is adventive in part of the Western US. It is an aggressive and fast-growing vine that can quickly cover the areas it frequents, which is usually open woodland borders and streamsides - often it can be seen growing up into the canopy. It can cover the outside edge of the woods with beautiful flowers.

This plant is the only species in its genus, but it also has a lookalike cousin, Sicyos angulatus, from which it can most easily distinguished by its white flowers (the former has green), and the fact that it produces seed pods that encapsulate the seeds, whereas Sicyos angulatus produces just a cluster of bur-filled seeds. See photo for comparison.

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