Marah fabaceus fabaceus or Wild Cucumber

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Marah fabaceus fabaceus or Wild Cucumber is a stress deciduous, perennial vine with a tuberous root and large spiny fruit. Appearing after the first rains of the season, it produces clusters of tiny white flowers.  Large underground roots allow this variety to survive long, dry summers. Wild Cucumber is often mistaken for a weed by Park visitors and volunteers as they can cover an entire tree or bush, but their presence is a vital part of the Park’s ecosystem and the vines are short-lived and die back after blooming.