Wild Flowers of Sleepy Hollow LakeBur- Cucumber (Sicyos angulatus)
Wild Flowers of Sleepy Hollow Lake From All-Creatures.org Art and Photo Journals and Galleries Directory

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Bur-Cucumber (Sicyos angulatus)
Table of Contents

Bur-Cucumber (Sicyos angulatus) - 01
(Bur-Cucumber (Sicyos angulatus) - 01) The bur-cucumber is a climbing vine. The patch we photographed here was covering and area of about 25 feet long and about 15 feet deep.  It covered most of the other ground plants and had taken over one side of a tree.
Bur-Cucumber (Sicyos angulatus) - 02
(Bur-Cucumber (Sicyos angulatus) - 02) The leaves of the bur-cucumber have five lobes, although the two closest to the stem are less distinguishable as separate lobes, since they tend to grow into the adjacent lobes.   In this photo we can also see both the flower stock and the prickly fruit below.   Although we could not find anything in the literature about the relationship between the flower and fruit, it appears that the fruit forms off the main stem and not directly from the flowers, as is most common.
Bur-Cucumber (Sicyos angulatus) - 03
(Bur-Cucumber (Sicyos angulatus) - 03) This is a forty times enlargement of one of the bur-cucumber flowers, which are in clusters on stems, and which have a normal size of about 1/4 inch.  The five pimply deep veined petals which surround a very unusual central core has a somewhat surreal appearance.
Bur-Cucumber (Sicyos angulatus) - 05
(Bur-Cucumber (Sicyos angulatus) - 05) In this photo there are two prickly clusters of bur-cucumber fruit.  We can also see the hairy stems, which is another characteristic of the bur-cucumber.  Most of the fruit clusters we encountered were hidden under the leaves.  In order to take this photo, we had to hold up the leaf.
Bur-Cucumber (Sicyos angulatus) - 04
(Bur-Cucumber (Sicyos angulatus) - 04) This is an enlargement of one section of the bur-cucumber prickly fruit cluster.  Other varieties of wild cucumbers have only a single fruit.  The bur-cucumber is a member of the Gourd family.
Bur-Cucumber (Sicyos angulatus) - 06
(Bur-Cucumber (Sicyos angulatus) - 06)  This bur-cucumber had climbed up about 20 feet into a neighboring tree.
Bur-Cucumber (Sicyos angulatus) - 07
(Bur-Cucumber (Sicyos angulatus) - 07)  This is a closer look at a portion of the intertwined vines of the bur-cucumber with its five-lobed leaves and flower clusters.
Bur-Cucumber (Sicyos angulatus) - 07a
(Bur-Cucumber (Sicyos angulatus) - 07a)  In this photo of the bur-cucumber, we can see the toothed edges of the leaves.
Bur-Cucumber (Sicyos angulatus) - 08
(Bur-Cucumber (Sicyos angulatus) - 08)  This is a closer look at one bur-cucumber flower cluster with what appear to be staminate five-petaled flowers.
Bur-Cucumber (Sicyos angulatus) - 09
(Bur-Cucumber (Sicyos angulatus) - 09)  This is another close-up look at one of the bur-cucumber 1/2 inch flowers.
Bur-Cucumber (Sicyos angulatus) - 10
(Bur-Cucumber (Sicyos angulatus) - 10)  This is another view of a bur-cucumber flower.
Bur-Cucumber (Sicyos angulatus) - 11
(Bur-Cucumber (Sicyos angulatus) - 11)  This is another patch of bur-cucumber.
Bur-Cucumber (Sicyos angulatus) - 12
(Bur-Cucumber (Sicyos angulatus) - 12)  This is a closer look at a portion of a patch of flowering bur-cucumber.
Bur-Cucumber (Sicyos angulatus) - 12a
(Bur-Cucumber (Sicyos angulatus) - 12a)  This is another look at the patch of bur-cucumber that has climbed over the lower branches of an adjacent tree.
Bur-Cucumber (Sicyos angulatus) - 13
(Bur-Cucumber (Sicyos angulatus) - 13)  This is another look at a patch of bur-cucumber.
Bur-Cucumber (Sicyos angulatus) - 13a
(Bur-Cucumber (Sicyos angulatus) - 13a)  In this photo of the bur-cucumber, we can see their intertwined vines and stems.
Bur-Cucumber (Sicyos angulatus) - 14
(Bur-Cucumber (Sicyos angulatus) - 14)  In this bee's eye view of a portion of a bur-cucumber flower, we can see the hairy underside edges of the petals.  We have not been able to identify whether this is a staminate or pistillate flower.  A very small worm is dining on one of the petals.
Bur-Cucumber (Sicyos angulatus) - 15
(Bur-Cucumber (Sicyos angulatus) - 15) When we first spotted these autumn leaves on 17 Oct 2013, we thought they looked like strangely large grape leaves, but then we realized that the leaves had 5 lobes (grape leaves have 3 lobes). Since there was also a bur-cucumber growing in the same area, we soon realized these were bur-cucumber leaves.
Bur-Cucumber (Sicyos angulatus) - 15a
(Bur-Cucumber (Sicyos angulatus) - 15a) If we look at the underside of this leaf, we can clearly see the 5 lobes signified by the 5 main veins in the leaf radiating from where the stem attaches to the leaf. Using the face of a clock to establish direction, the central vein is pointing to 5 o'clock, the first left and right lateral main veins are pointing to 4 and 6 o'clock respectively, and the second left and right lateral veins are pointing to 2:30 and 7:30 o'clock respectively.
ur-Cucumber (Sicyos angulatus) - 16
(Bur-Cucumber (Sicyos angulatus) - 16) This is another look at the autumn colors of the bur-cucumber leaves. The darker reddish tones come from the sugar deposits in the leaves that have been exposed to the sun's ultraviolet light.
Bur-Cucumber (Sicyos angulatus) - 16a
(Bur-Cucumber (Sicyos angulatus) - 16a) In this close-up view of the underside of a bur-cucumber leaf, we can clearly see the 5 main veins (one for each lobe) radiating out from the leaf stem.
Bur-Cucumber (Sicyos angulatus) - 17
(Bur-Cucumber (Sicyos angulatus) - 17) This is another view of the unusual autumn color patterns of the bur-cucumber leaves.
Bur-Cucumber (Sicyos angulatus) - 18
(Bur-Cucumber (Sicyos angulatus) - 18) This is another look at the autumn colors of the bur-cucumber leaves.
Bur-Cucumber (Sicyos angulatus) - 19
(Bur-Cucumber (Sicyos angulatus) - 19) This another look at the bur-cucumber's autumn colored leaves.
Bur-Cucumber (Sicyos angulatus) - 20
(Bur-Cucumber (Sicyos angulatus) - 20) This is the last of the 2013 autumn leaves photos we took of the bur-cucumber.

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