Overview

Comprehensive Description

Description

This herbaceous plant is an annual vine up to 25' long that develops multiple lanky stems. This vine can climb over adjacent vegetation and fences using its branched tendrils, otherwise it sprawls across the ground. The stems are light green, terete, furrowed, and quite hairy. The alternate leaves are up to 8" long and across (excluding the petioles); they are orbicular-angular with 3-5 palmate lobes that are shallow to moderately deep. Leaf margins are slightly serrated. The upper surface of each leaf is yellowish green or medium green and relatively hairless, while the lower surface is finely pubescent, especially along the lower veins. The petiole of each leaf is up to 5" long; it is light green, rather stout, and quite hairy. The leaf blade is strongly indented at the base where it is connected to the petiole. Occasionally, branched tendrils and racemes of flowers occur oppositely from the alternate leaves along the vine. Bur Cucumber is usually monoecious and produces both staminate (male) and pistillate (female) flowers on the same plant. Each staminate flower has a green calyx with 5 teeth, a greenish white corolla with 5 spreading lobes, and a central column of stamens that is knobby at its apex. The teeth of the calyx are short and broad with recurved tips. The lobes of the corolla have a network of green lines on a white background. The staminate flowers are individually about 1/3" across and they tend to bloom in small clusters toward the apex of the raceme. Each pistillate flower has a large ovary that is enclosed within an ovoid fruit about ½" long. The surface of this fruit is covered with sharp spines and long white hairs; it is initially green, but later turns brown. A single style is exerted from the terminal end of this fruit. The pistillate flowers are bunched together in a short raceme; a typical raceme has 3-10 pistillate flowers. The peduncles and pedicels of both staminate and pistillate racemes are light green and pubescent. The blooming period occurs from late summer to early fall and lasts about 3 weeks. There is no noticeable floral scent. Each bur-like fruit contains a single large seed that is brown and flattened; this seed is tapered at one end more than the other and it has a rough surface. The root system consists of a shallow branched taproot. This plant spreads by reseeding itself. Cultivation
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Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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Distribution

Range and Habitat in Illinois

The native Bur Cucumber occurs occasionally in scattered counties across Illinois (see Distribution Map). Habitats include openings in floodplain forests, moist meadows in floodplain areas, thickets, banks of ditches and rivers, and edges of fields. Moist disturbed areas are preferred. Faunal Associations
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© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Unknown/Undetermined

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

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Ecology

Habitat

Range and Habitat in Illinois

The native Bur Cucumber occurs occasionally in scattered counties across Illinois (see Distribution Map). Habitats include openings in floodplain forests, moist meadows in floodplain areas, thickets, banks of ditches and rivers, and edges of fields. Moist disturbed areas are preferred. Faunal Associations
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© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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Associations

Flower-Visiting Insects of Bur Cucumber in Illinois

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Sicyos angulatus

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


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Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Sicyos angulatus

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 4
Specimens with Barcodes: 7
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

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Wikipedia

Sicyos angulatus

Sicyos angulatus,[1] the burr cucumber or star-cucumber is an annual vine in the cucumber family native to eastern North America.

The plant forms mats or climbs using tendrils. The leaves are palmately veined and lobed, flowers green to yellowish green, fruits in clusters of very small pepos.

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

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