wild cucumber

(Echinocystis lobata)

Conservation Status
wild cucumber
Photo by Alfredo Colon
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

N5 - Secure

SNR - Unranked

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
Wetland Indicator Status
     
  Great Plains

FAC - Facultative

     
  Midwest

FACW - Facultative wetland

     
  Northcentral & Northeast

FACW - Facultative wetland

     
           
 
Description
 
 

Wild cucumber 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.

 
     
 

Height

 
 

Climbimg: 15 to 25 long

 
     
 

Flower Color

 
 

White or greenish-white

 
     
 

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.

 
     
 
Habitat
 
 

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

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Flowering

 
 

July to September

 
     
 
Use
 
 

 

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 24,28.

 
  11/2/2018      
         
 

Nativity

 
 

Native

 
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

 

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
  Kingdom Plantae (green algae and land plants)  
  Subkingdom Viridiplantae (green plants)  
  Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants and green algae)  
  Superdivision Embryophyta (land plants)  
  Division Tracheophyta (vascular plants)  
  Subdivision Spermatophytina (seed plants)  
  Class Magnoliopsida (dicots)  
  Subclass Rosidae  
  Superorder Rosanae  
 

Order

Cucurbitales  
 

Family

Cucurbitaceae (gourds, squashes)  
  Subfamily Cucurbitoideae  
  Tribe Sicyoeae  
 

Genus

Echinocystis  
       
 

Subordinate Taxa

 
 

 

 
       
 

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.

       
Visitor Photos
   

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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
   

Report a sighting of this plant.

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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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