En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
2 ratings

Monday - May 21, 2012

From: Sherwood, AR
Region: Southeast
Topic: Plant Identification, Vines
Title: Identification of a plant that looks like a watermelon.
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

A wild plant came up in my bed that looked like a watermelon plant. It had small yellow blooms and then marble balls formed with prickly thorns. The balls were in clusters. What kind of plant is it?

ANSWER:

This sounds a lot like Sicyos angulatus (One-seed burr cucumber).  Here are more photos and information from Virginia Tech's Weed Identification Guide, Illinois Wildflowers, and Connecticut Botanical Society.

Another possibility is Echinocystis lobata (Wild cucumber) and here are more photos and information from the University of Wisconsin's Robert W. Freckman Herbarium.

If neither of these is the vine you have seen, you can look at other Arkansas native vines in our Native Plant Database by doing a COMBINATION SEARCH and selecting "Arkansas" from the Select State or Province slot and "Vine" from Habit (general appearance).  Or, if you have photos or can take them, you can find links to several plant identification forums on our Plant Identification page that will accept photos for identification.

 

 

From the Image Gallery


One-seed burr cucumber
Sicyos angulatus

Wild cucumber
Echinocystis lobata

Wild cucumber
Echinocystis lobata

More Plant Identification Questions

Visual differences among members of the Apiaceae
July 21, 2012 - What is the visual difference between queen anne's lace and hemlock and cowslip parsley? I live in Marin county, California and have often been confused as to which is what? Thank you!
view the full question and answer

Plant ID in Springfield OR
July 08, 2009 - I recently discovered a wildflower closely resembling the Oregon Lady Slipper, apparently a wild orchid, but with many blooms on a single long stem and with no apparent leaves. I'd like more informat...
view the full question and answer

Want to know the name of a string looking moss in OR.
August 02, 2011 - I want to know the name of a string looking moss or Licha that grows on pine trees? Thought was old mans whiskers, but this search brings up a flower; not what I am looking for. I found some in Glacie...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
June 11, 2010 - Dear Mr Smarty Pants.I hope you can help to save my sanity! I am a true believer in using native plantings, having a yard that is 99% native. I hope that fact provides me a little extra credit towar...
view the full question and answer

Identification of thorny plant in Michigan
June 16, 2008 - i live in southern michigan and have a thorny plant with oval leaves growing in my flower beds. this used to be a grassy area how did it get there. i live on the edge of town. what plants in my area h...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center