Glory's Garden

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Saturday, August 20, 2011

The false CUKE vine

Several years ago, a strange vine popped up in my yard, which I eventually dubbed the false cuke vine. As I am a curious sort, I left it to grow just to see what it would do. Well, it was rather pretty. Really, is there a plant out there which I would find ugly? I've yet to see it! But I digress. This vine had almost star-shaped, pointy leaves, tiny sprays of creamy white flowers and adorable curly-kues.
Those curly-kues have a real name of course; tendrils. I just like calling them curly-kues. Tendril have a purpose for being other than do please me. The false cuke vine tends to sprout up wherever it pleases and climbs up trees and shrubs with the use of the tendrils. They wrap around stems and leaves which helps them "stand up", get vertical and cling to the outer branches of trees and shrubs. They like full sun, you see and this is the best way to do it. Smart as a whip, this plants, (all plants really) I'm telling you!

Later in the season fruits developed which look to me like tiny round cucumbers, hence the name I bestowed upon the little darling. The fruits eventually dry and become seed pods. The seeds are brownish black speckled and if you allow a vine to stay put, expect several dozen vines to pop up the next year. Yes, they are annuals but their seeds survive the cold Pocono winter. How lovely...not!

If you haven't guessed yet, they can become and are in essences a weed. You may be wondering why I'm telling you about a weed vine, but if you've been here before, to Glory's garden, you ought not be too surprised.

I have a hard time yanking the many false cuke vines I see growing in my various garden beds and up trees and into bushes. Oh, it's not that they don't give way easily enough. They do not have the strongest roots system, but they do cling ferociously to whatever they choose as their climbing vehicle. If you are tenacious and equally gentle and quick with the wrist action--I wonder if a fly fisherman would be good at this?-- you can get the vines, most of it anyway, down off the trees.

It would behoove you to do so, even if they are rather attractive. If you leave a tiny piece of the vine up a tree, even if it's separated from its roots, and it is late enough in the season, those fruits may still be able to quicken the ripening of the seeds and you'll be in for it the next year!

If anyone knows the true name of this, please do let me know. It grows all over my Pocono region, but i haven't seen it elsewhere. In the meantime I will continue to call it the false cuke vine and I'll allow one or two to grow just cuz I'm a glutton for punishment...very pretty punishment I dare say!

4 comments:

  1. Are you sure you didn't buy your house from a family named Adams? Plants that walk around at night and vines that will strangle you during the day. Is there anyplace on your property where you can actually see the ground? LOL

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  2. See the ground? Only when I dig a hole and only until it too gets overgrown with weeds. I'm telling ya, the weeds are winning!

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  3. LOL yeah you should have seen my patio when growing the passionflower vines.

    On a different note: How about a quest looking for the ugliest plants?

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  4. Give me suggestions. I have a few which I don't like very much, but even in them I find something to like. Really, I'm hopeless!

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