Wildflowers of Toronto's High Park​​

Cucumber, wild or prickly
​Echinocystis lobata

Family: Gourd

Native to Ontario
Annual

Habitat: Meadows, waste areas
Blooms: July to autumn

Stem: up to 6 m, clinging to other plants

​Tendrils, with 3 branches, opposite the leaves

​Flowers:  up to 16 mm, white. 
Male and female flowers on same vine. 

Male flowers arranged in long branching panicles. 

Female flowers: short-stalked in the axil of the tendril opposite the petiole of the leaf immediately below each cluster of male flowers. Spiny ovary is beneath the 6 small petals.

Fruit: 2.5-5 cm, prickly, containing 4 large seeds.  

The genus name comes from the Greek echinos (hedgehog) and lustis (bladder) referring to the appearance of the fruit.