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Marah macrocarpus

Marah macrocarpus (Greene) Greene

 

Cucamonga Manroot, Common Manroot, Bigroot

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassRosidaeRoses, legumes, proteas, dogwoods, hydrangeas, mistletoes, euphorbias, grapes, many more
OrderViolalesA large group that takes its name from violets
FamilyCucurbitaceaeSquashes, melons, pumpkins, and gourds; name probably from German Kürbiskernöl, “pumpkin”
GenusMarahManroots; aboriginal name means “bitter”
SpeciesmacrocarpusFrom Greek makros, “large,” and karphos, “fruit”

About plant names...

Cucamonga manroot is native to southern California and Baja California in Mexico.

Identification: Cucamonga manroot is a vine that resembles garden cucumbers because it is a member of the same family. Vines reach lengths of 20' (6 m), attaching themselves to other surfaces with tendrils. Leaves have 5-7 lobes, and show much variation; they are about 4" (10 cm) around. Flowers are yellowish-green to white, with greenish centers and five petals, up to 1" (2.5 cm) in diameter. Fruits look rather imposing, oval- or cucumber-shaped and studded with spikes. They are 1¾-2" (5-6 cm) around and up to 6-8" (15-20 cm) long. Hard roots, like those of ginger, reach remarkably large sizes and can weigh more than a good-sized person.

Marah macrocarpus (Cucamonga Manroot, Common Manroot, Bigroot)

Photographed in Voorhis Ecological Reserve near Pomona, CA, USA by Curtis Clark.

Edibility: Poisonous Skull & Crossbones. All parts of the plant are bitter and are at least mildly poisonous.

Online References:

Marah macrocarpus on Wikipedia

Marah macrocarpus at the Santa Monica Mountains Trails Council’s Plant of the Month site

Marah macrocarpus from the Jepson Manual

Marah macrocarpus on Wikimedia Commons

Cucurbitaceae family on www.cucurbit.org

Marah macrocarpus on CalPhotos

Marah macrocarpus on Plants for a Future, a resource and information centre for edible and otherwise useful plants

Marah macrocarpus on the Natural History of Orange County, California

Marah macrocarpus from the Jepson Manual

Marah macrocarpus description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 16 Aug 2013.

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Marah macrocarpus (Cucamonga Manroot, Common Manroot, Bigroot)

2/26/2010 · Torrey Pines State Park, La Jolla, CA
≈ 8 × 6" (21 × 14 cm)

Marah macrocarpus (Cucamonga Manroot, Common Manroot, Bigroot)

2/26/2010 · Torrey Pines State Park, La Jolla, CA
≈ 10 × 7" (26 × 17 cm)

Marah macrocarpus (Cucamonga Manroot, Common Manroot, Bigroot)

2/26/2010 · Torrey Pines State Park, La Jolla, CA
≈ 19 × 13" (49 × 32 cm)

Marah macrocarpus (Cucamonga Manroot, Common Manroot, Bigroot)

2/26/2010 · Torrey Pines State Park, La Jolla, CA
≈ 3 × 4½" (7.8 × 11 cm)

Range:

About this map...