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Bur Cucumber, Oneseed Bur Cucumber; Star Cucumber - Sicyos angulatus


Family: Cucurbitaceae Cucumber family Genus Common Name: Bur Cucumber Native Status: Native
Sicyos angulatus - Bur Cucumber, Oneseed Bur Cucumber; Star Cucumber. While there are several species in Sicyos in the United States, Sicyos angulatus is the most widespread. The others are found in only 1 or 2 states (Sicyos ampelophyllus in 3), but Sycyos angulatus is found in 37 states and in Canada as well - clearly another of the few species in the Cucumber Family (Cucurbitaceae) found in temperate climates. Bur Cucumber is considered a noxious weed in Delaware, Indiana, and Kentucky.

This vine grows up to 25 long and may have multiple stems. It has branched tendrils which allow it to climb over fences and other plants.

Found in:
AL, AR, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, VA, VT, WI, WV

Distribution of Sicyos angulatus in the United States and Canada:
USDA Plants Distribution Map temporarily unavailable.
Blue=Native; Grey=Introduced

Map from USDA Plants Database:
USDA, NRCS. 2009. The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov, 21 Oct 2014). National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.

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Site: Walker County, GA Date: 2012-September-25Photographer: Gerald C. Williamson
Nikon D7000
Tamron SP 90MM f/2.8 AF Macro
The light green blossom of Bur Cucumber has 5 petals.
Sicyos angulatus

Site: Walker County, GA Date: 2012-September-25Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
The plant usually has both male and female flowers, although it is occasionally dioecious. The stem, peduncles, and pedicels are quite hairy.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Sicyos angulatus

Site: Walker County, GA Date: 2012-September-25Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
Tamron SP 90MM f/2.8 AF Macro
The fruits of Bur Cucumber provide its common name. The seed clusters are quite hairy, and each spiny, ovoid fruit contains a single seed. This is an annual plant which propagates via these seeds.

Note the tendril branched tendrils which allow it to climb over fences and other plants.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Sicyos angulatus

Site: Walker County, GA Date: 2012-September-25Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
I believe this is a cluster of pistillate blossoms which will develop into the fruit cluster, but have not been able to find an authoritative description that is clear on the structure of the pistillate blossoms. Each of the pale green flowers in the cluster is about 1/3 inch across.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Sicyos angulatus

Site: Walker County, GA Date: 2012-September-25Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
Leaves are alternate, up to 8 long and 8 across - and that does not include the substantial petiole. The leaves are 5-lobed.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Sicyos angulatus

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All content except USDA Plants Database map Copyright Gerald C. Williamson 2014
Photographs Copyrighted by the named photographer