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A Mystery Vine

In the beginning of the summer, my mom’s neighbor bought some pumpkin seeds. He planted them in his garden, and he waited.

All of the seeds grew into pumpkin plants.

All except for this one.

Mystery Vine

It grew into some kind of monster vine, and it is taking over his garden and his yard and the space around it. It has dozens of branches, each one more than ten feet long.

Mystery Vine

I need your help to identify it. The stems are green, not woody at all, and they are covered with spiny hairs.

Mystery Vine

The flowers are in large clusters. There are two kinds of flower, one larger and the other smaller. They are all white with green centers. Some stand up on tall stalks, but others are close to the vine. All of the flowers are laden with bees – honey bees, wasps, and yellow jackets all seem to love it.

Mystery VineMystery Vine

The seeds eventually become clusters of large, pumpkin-like seeds. The seed pods are big and hairy, and covered with large white thorns.

Mystery Vine

Like any strong vine, it has tendrils that hold it onto everything in sight. Another friend of my mom’s ended up with it, and it is climbing a telephone pole. It would not be an exaggeration to say that it is enveloping the pole. It’s a fast growing vine.

Mystery Vine

The leaf has pointed lobes.

Mystery Vine

I told my mom that she should cut a branch off and take it to the Department of Agriculture or the county Ag Extension office. There is no doubt that it’s highly invasive and looking to find lots of new homes.

Mystery Vine

Do you recognize this plant? Know where I can learn more about it?

© 2009 – 2018, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.

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