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Cucurbitaceae >>> Marah gilensis
Big root uses its tendrils to climb into trees and shrubs. It is a member of
the cucumber family (Cucurbitaceae).
VINE: A climbing vine entirely herbaceous above the ground. The plant
grows year after year from a large underground tuber but the above ground
portions wither away by late spring.
FRUIT: Spherical and covered with fleshy prickles. Inside are several
large, nearly black seeds. On drying the fruit reveals a loose fibrous
interior rather like a loufa sponge (same plant family).
RANGE: Common from 300 m up to 1500 m along riparian streams or within
bosques in the Upper Sonoran Desert of Arizona and Sonora.
LEAVES: Verdant green leaves have large prominent teeth and appear in
early spring as the vine grows up and into trees/shrubs.
FLOWERS: Small, whitish-yellow with five petals.
Antelope Squirrel predates the large seeds.
Cucurbitaceae -- Cucumber Family
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