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Echinocystis lobata
Echinocystis lobata.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Cucurbitales
Family: Cucurbitaceae
Subfamily: Cucurbitoideae
Tribe: Sicyeae
Subtribe: Cyclantherinae
Genus: Echinocystis
Torr. & A.Gray
Species: E. lobata
Binomial name
Echinocystis lobata
(Michx.) Torr. & A. Gray

Echinocystis is a monotypic genus in the gourd/melon/cucumber family Cucurbitaceae, with the sole species Echinocystis lobata, commonly called wild cucumber, prickly cucumber, or balsam apple.


Echinocystis lobata is an annual vine native across North America. It is found in forty U.S. states (excluding Nevada, Hawaii, and Alaska; and most of the far Southeastern states); and nine Canadian provinces.

Vernacular nomenclature[edit]

"Wild cucumber" is a very common vernacular name for two different plants:

  • the annual plant, native to northern states and Canada — "Echinocystis lobata"
  • the perennial plant, native to southern California and Baja California (Mexico) — "Marah" species.

Some authors include the genus Marah (manroots) within the genus Echinocystis.


External links[edit]