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Marah macrocarpa

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A caudex from

Photo from San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy.

The flowers from

Photo from San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy.

Author:  Edward Lee Greene, 1910
Origin:  California; South-Western U.S.A., North-Western Mexico
Soil:  Grit
Water:  Medium
Sun:  Maximum
Thickness:  80 Centimetres
Height:  5 Meters
Flower:  White
Propagate:  Seeds 
Names:  Wild Cucumber, Man-Root, Chilicothe
Synonyms:  Echinocystis macrocarpa Greene, 1885,
Marah major.
Marah micranthus,
Micrampelis macrocarpa
Greene, 1890,
Echinocystis macrocarpa.
Echinocystis macrocarpa f. leptocarpa,
Marah leptocarpa, Greene.
Megarrhiza californica, S.Watson
Megarrhiza macrocarpa, Tidestr.
Micrampelis leptocarpa, Greene.
Micrampelis macrocarpa, Greene.
Old mistake: M. macrocarpus

This member of the Cucurbitaceae family was given this name by Edward Lee Greene in 1910. It is found in the south-western U.S.A. and north-western Mexico, growing in a well drained soil with some water and lots of sun. The caudex can grow to 80 centimetres in diameter, the wines can reach for five meters. The flowers are white, and seeds are the only way of reproducing.

The genera name might be from Latin amarus; 'bitter' for the taste of the roots. The species name Macrocarpa means large fruited.

Photo from San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy.