BUR CUCUMBER, Sicyos
angulatus L. 1, portion of plant showing stem, leaves, tendrils,
and flowers; 2, cluster of pods containing seeds. Annual,
reproducing by seeds. Stem forms a creeping vine several yards or
meters long, with numerous branched, climbing tendrils. Leaves alternate,
more or less circular in outline but with 3 to 5 shallow lobes, margins
finely toothed. Well-developed leaves 4 to 8 inches (10 to 20 cm) wide.
Flowers unisexual; some are male, producing only pollen; others
are female and produce seeds; both are whitish, with 5 united petals about
1/2 inch (1.3 cm) across. Seeds borne singly in a flat, egg-shaped
pod, 1/2 to 3/4 inch (1.3 to 1.9 cm) long and 1/4 inch (0.6 cm) thick,
covered with barbed, prickly bristles. Found in wooded areas along
stream banks and roadsides and in other shady, damp places. Fast-growing
in early summer and very conspicuous, but not usually an aggressive weed
in cultivated fields.