Random Plant: Wild cucumber revisited

In early August I wrote about a wild cucumber (Echinocystis lobata, Cucurbitaceae) vine I found in a floodplain forest.  I revisited this site a couple of times since then and noted this plant’s progress though the season.  By the end of August, it was in full bloom:

Flowers of a wild cucumber (Echinocystis lobata, Cucurbitaceae), photographed 08/22/2010 near Blissfield Michigan.

And now in October, I found that this plant had set some interesting fruit:

Fruit of a wild cucumber (Echinocystis lobata, Cucurbitaceae), photographed 10/17/2010 near Blissfield Michigan.

Although related to the cucumbers everyone knows and loves, this wild fruit is apparently really bitter and therefore inedible.

Mature fruits dry out on the bottom, open up, and forcefully eject their seeds through fluid pressure:

Fruit of a wild cucumber (Echinocystis lobata, Cucurbitaceae), photographed 10/17/2010 near Blissfield Michigan.

Advertisements

About Jeremy Sell

Science and nature nerd.
This entry was posted in Botany, Random Plant and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s