Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Big Root and Fruit

As we like to say, this one's in the book! Page 71 in A Naturalist's Guide to Sabino Canyon.

Photos by Ned Harris 2/16/2015

Big Root aka Wild Cucumber (Marah gilensis) is growing in the Hackberry (and other) bushes along the road before the Bear Bridge. Loads of it along the road into Sabino Canyon, too. Look for this vine among bushes in trees. A big patch is growing on the ground just after Bridge 5.
Big Root is the spring bloomer; Balsam Apple (Echinopepon wrightii) is the fall bloomer in the same family.

This is the developing fruit (fruit = the thing that holds/contains the seeds) of Big Root. Note the flower is still attached. The fruits are generally about the size of a golf ball when ripe and are covered with spikes.