Bur Cucumber

Sicyos angulatus

This fuzzy, climbing annual will grow in shady, moist areas. It can put out runners that extend up to 25 feet across the ground. Often, it climbs over shrubs and small trees using thin tendrils to anchor it to branches as it ascends.  The growth habit is much like a grape vine.

At first glance, the plant closely resembles a garden-variety cucumber plant. The 5-petalled flowers are greenish-white and are borne in clusters.  The small, cucumber-shaped fruits that result in September will also be clustered and covered with bristles.

There is another plant that resembles this one–it is called wild cucumber. That species has 6-petalled flowers, smooth stems (not hairy), and forms single fruits.

 

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