wild cucumber

(Echinocystis lobata)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not listed

wild cucumber

NatureServe

N5 - Secure

SNR - Unranked

Minnesota

not listed

Wetland
Indicator
Status

Great Plains

FAC - Facultative

Midwest

FACW - Facultative wetland

Northcentral & Northeast

FACW - Facultative wetland

Nativity

Native

Occurrence

 

Photo by Alfredo Colon
Habitat

Wet to moist. Riverbottoms, streambanks, thickets, woods, roadsides.

Flowering

July to September

     
Flower Color

White or greenish-white

     
Height

Climbimg: 15 to 25 long

     
 
Identification

This is an annual, herbaceous, high-climbing vine. It has separate male and female flowers, both appearing on the same plant.

The stems are hairless and can extend 15 to 25.

The tendrils are branched.

The leaves are alternate and are attached to the vine on long leaf stalks. They are 2¾ to 5 long. They have 3 to 7 but usually 5 sharply-trialgular lobes with pointed tips. The margins have tiny, widely-spaced teeth.

The male and female flowers are borne separately from the same leaf axils. The male inflorescence is a 12 to 16 long, erect cluster of many flowers. The female inflorescence is a solitary flower or a pair of flowers.

The flowers are white or greenish-white, about wide, and star-shaped. They have 6 thin, long petals.

The fruits are attached individually. Each fruit is a green, inflated, egg-shaped capsule. It is 1 to 2 long and is covered with soft prickles. It contains 4 seeds.

 
Similar
Species

Bur cucumber (Sicyos angulatus) leaves are more shallowly-lobed. The flowers have 5 petals. The fruit is smaller, no more than long; is not inflated; and contains only 1 seed.

Canada moonseed (Menispermum canadense) leaves are more shallowly-lobed. The leaf stalk attaches to the blade a little less than ½ inside the margin.

 
Distribution Distribution Map   Sources: 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 24,28.
 
Comments

 

 
Taxonomy

Family:

Cucurbitaceae (cucumber)

 

Tribe:

Sicyoeae

 
Synonyms

Echinocystis echinata

Micrampelis echinata

Micrampelis lobata

 

Momordica echinata

Sicyos lobata

Sicyos lobatus

 
Common
Names

balsam-apple

bur-cucumber

mock cucumber

mock-apple

prickly cucumber

wild balsamapple

 

wild balsam-apple

wild cucumber

wild cucumber vine

wild mock cucumber

wild mockcucumber

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Axil

The upper angle where the leaf stalk meets the stem.

       
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Alfredo Colon
       
  wild cucumber   wild cucumber
       
  wild cucumber   wild cucumber
       
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
   

Vine

  wild cucumber    
       

Inflorescence

  wild cucumber    
       

Leaves

  wild cucumber   wild cucumber
       

Fruit

  wild cucumber    
       

 

Camera

     
Slideshows
   
  Echinocystis lobata (Wild Cucumber)
Allen Chartier
 
  Echinocystis lobata (Wild Cucumber)  

 

slideshow

       
Visitor Videos
       
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Other Videos
 
  Wild Cucumber
TheSJNature
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Mar 19, 2010

- A very odd plant. This plant grows big spicky fruits.

   
       
  Weed of the Week #855 - Wild Cucumber (Air Date 8/23/14)
AgPhD's channel
 
   
 
About

Published on Aug 29, 2014

It's our Weed of the Week, Wild Cucumber (which in no way can be turned into Wild Pickles).

   
       
  Wild Cucumber (Echinocystis lobata)
PrairieMoonNursery
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Aug 24, 2011

http://www.prairiemoon.com Wild Cucumber is an annual native vine reaching lengths of 20' or more with very delicate white flowers late summer. The 'cucumber' appears early fall and drops large seeds, repeating the cycle.

   
       
  Soldier beetle forages on wild cucumber
Robert Klips
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Aug 26, 2011

The Pennsylvania leatherwing, Chauliognathus pensylvanicus (Cantharidae) is a soldier beetle that is very common on flowers. Here, an individual as apparently foraging for pollen on the staminate flowers of wild cucumber, Echinocystis lobata growing along a road in Delaware County, Ohio, USA on August 26, 2011.

   
       
  Wild Cucumber
Mike Kennedy
 
   
 
About

Published on Sep 7, 2014

I find a wild cucumber plant. Not edible! check here for great info: http://www.naturemanitoba.ca/botany/wildPlants/WildCucumber.pdf

   
       

 

Camcorder

         
Visitor Sightings
   
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Alfredo Colon
8/7, 8/9, and 8/30/2019

Location: Woodbury, Minnesota

wild cucumber


Nina Salveson
8/23 – 8/24/2018

Location: Highway 5 and Cty Hwy 10 between Waconia and Chaska - its everywhere and completely blanketing trees, pines, maples and shrubs. I also see it from Hwy 5 on the U-MN Landscape Arboretum property.

Will this harm the beautiful trees it is engulfing and completely covering?

 
John Valo
8/25/2018

The vines are weak, so I would not expect the tree to be damaged by it. However, it is considered a weed, it is unsightly in a yard, and it will return next year. Wild cucumber is easy to control by pulling the vine, preferably before it goes to seed.


Matt Trost
9/5/2017

Location: My Yard, Coon Rapids, MN

I will be killing the plant as we have pets who like vegetables.


     
     
 
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