En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Identification of a plant that looks like a watermelon.

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
1 rating

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

Identifying Rhus lanceolata in Texas
April 28, 2013 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I think I've identified two small trees, 4 to 5 feet high at the back fence line and two in the front yard flower beds as prairie flameleaf sumac (or at least some kind of s...
view the full question and answer

Identity of vine growing in Kentucky.
August 11, 2013 - I have a vine I can't identify. The leaf is heart shaped and the vine is fuzzy. The blooms is just now starting to bloom. They are small red and some white in it. The bloom sort of remind you of a c...
view the full question and answer

Mystery plants at Marble Falls
September 01, 2008 - On the upper end of Lake Marble Falls is a 2-3 foot tall green stemed plant just blooming small white daisy like flowers. There are no leaves on the plant just stems and now flowers. Any idea where ...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
June 19, 2011 - I am trying to identify a flowering plant I saw today in Houston. Its leaves are green and it produces beautiful flowers with 4 petals that kind of remind me of a pinwheel. The petals are about 2 inch...
view the full question and answer

Plant Identification from Pearland TX
August 10, 2013 - I am looking for a native plant; was told it was called Hummingbird Weed. Came from Coryell County. I let mine freeze and cannot find more. It has long spikes with small red trumpet-shaped blooms on ...
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center