Wild Cucumber (Echinocystis lobata)

Wild Cucumber (Echinocystis lobata)

 

Wild Cucumber grows along trails, in fields, on the edges of forests and in riparian zones across PEI. Wild cucumber is a vine that grows on other shrubs and trees and can choke out smaller plants. It is easy to spot thanks to its prickly, cucumber-like fruit.

IDENTIFICATION

Here are some distinguishing features that may help to positively identify Wild Cucumber

  • Produces highly branched, vine-like stems
  • Leaves have 5 deep lobes and a heart-shaped base
  • Each leaf is paired with a long curly tendril
  • Flowers can be male or female
  • Male flowers grow in clusters along long branching stalks, while female flowers grow in solitude at the base of the long stem which bears the male flowers
  • Flowers bloom from July to August
  • Produces prickly, oval-shaped fruit which release the plant’s seed when it has reached maturity
  • A member of the gourd family, it requires moist soil and full sun