File Size: 30 KB
Echinocystis lobata   (Michx. ) Torr. & A. Gray
Brown County, Kansas
Height: Vines 15-24 feet long
Family: Cucurbitaceae - Gourd Family
Flowering Period:   April, May, June
Also Called: Wild balsam-apple.
Stems: Vines slender, climbing, trailing, or clambering, glabrous; tendrils usually 3-branched.
Leaves: Cauline, alternate, simple; petiole present; blade palmately 5-7-lobed, 1.8 to 4 inches long, 2 to 5.1 inches wide, surfaces glabrous, lobes acute, margins finely serrate.
Inflorescences: Staminate flowers in racemes or panicles; pistillate flowers solitary; pistillate peduncle .8 to 2 inches long.
Flowers: Unisexual, radially symmetric; sepals 5, connate, fused to corolla and forming hypanthium; hypanthium cup-like; calyx lobes filiform, .04 to .06 inch; corolla white, wheel-shaped, .12 to .25 inch long, .3 to .6 inch wide; petals 5(-6), distinct or connate; stamens 5(-6), usually with 4 connate in pairs (stamens appearing to be 3); pistil 1, (2-)3(-5)-carpellate; ovary inferior, prickly, 1-3-locular; style usually 1; stigmas (2-)3.
Fruits: Pepos, green, ovoid, dehiscing irregularly at apex, 1.2 to 2 inches, prickly; prickles smooth. Seeds 4, brown, elliptic, flattened, .6 to .8 inch, usually roughened along margins.
Habitat: Moist soil of prairie ravines, thickets, creek banks, and pond margins, sometimes along roadsides or in waste places.
Distribution: East half and northwest quarter of Kansas
Origin: Native
Uses: Native Americans applied a poultice of pulverized root for headaches and took an infusion of root for fevers, rheumatism, and stomach disorders (Moerman 1998).
Comments: Echinocystis, hedgehog and bladder, alluding to the fruit, and lobata, lobed. Mock-cucumber is easily propagated by seeds, grow rapidly, blooms abundantly for a long period, and makes an attractive coverage for trellises, arbors, low walls, and wire fences.

Mock-cucumber flower
33 KB
Brown County, Kansas
Mock-cucumber fruit
60 KB
Brown County, Kansas
Mock-cucumber fruit
56 KB
Brown County, Kansas
Mock-cucumber habit
145 KB
Brown County, Kansas
Mock-cucumber leaf
66 KB
Brown County, Kansas
Mock-cucumber leaf
75 KB
Brown County, Kansas