Scientific Name: Sicyos angulatus

Common Name: burcucumber

Other Common Names: oneseed bur cucumber

Synonyms: Sicyos angulata

Habit: Vining up to 20 ft (6 m), will climb up other plants or structures.

Leaves: Leaves: Alternate, 2-8 (6-20 cm) inches long, 2-8 inches wide, hairy on both the upper and lower leaf surface, broadly heart-shaped with 3-5 pointed lobes and a toothed margin. Petioles are 1-2 (2-5 cm) inches long.

Identifying Characteristics: A summer annual climbing vine that closely resembles cucumber plants, especially during the early stages of growth. Vining plant with 3-5 lobed leaves and small, spiny fruit that resemble cucumbers. Seedling: Cotyledons very closely resemble those of ordinary cucumber cotyledons, are thick and oblong, with many spreading hairs on the top and bottom.The stem below the cotyledons (hypocotyl) is also covered with many short hairs that typically point downward. Stems: Stems are hairy especially at the leaf nodes, longitudinally ridged, and climb by way of branched tendrils. This plant may very easily be confused with wild cucumber (Echinocystis lobata). However, wild cucumber has more deeply lobed leaves that are almost star-shaped, stems that are rarely hairy, and flowers that have 6 sepals and 6 petals. Burcucumber fruit are clustered and spiny whereas wild cumcumber are singular and spiny. Burcucumber might also be confused with Japanese Hops (<a href='../../weedimg/302'>Humulus japonicus</a>), however this weed does not have tendrils and has downward-pointing prickles on the stems.

Flower Seed Head: Whitish to green or yellow, with 5 sepals and 5 petals. Male flowers and female flowers are different but clusters of each arise from the same leaf axil. The male flowers are smaller than the female flowers.

Seed Fruit: Produced in clusters of 3-20, and resemble very small cucumbers covered with long bristles.

Where Found: Vining stems often climb by way of tendrils. Found from the east coast to Florida and west to Minnesota, Kansas and Texas.

  • Life cycle: summer annual

  • Milky sap: Not Present

  • Plant type: Vine

  • Thorns: Not Present

  • Plant family: Cucurbitaceae

  • Leaf arrangement: alternate

  • Leaf shape: round; heart

  • Ochrea: Not Present

  • Leaf margin: serrated; lobed

  • Stem hairs: has hairs

  • Flower color: white; yellow; green

  • Growth habit: vine

  • Stem: round or oval

  • Leaf structure: simple

  • Leaf hairs: has hairs

  • Flower symmetry: radial symmetery

  • Flower diameter: pencil

  • Root structure: fibrous; taproot

  • Leaf stalk: shorter than leaf