This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol3", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
Annual climbing vines, with branched tendrils, angled or lobed leaves, and small white or green monoecious flowers. Calyx-tube campanulate or cup-shaped, 5-toothed. Corolla campanulate or rotate, 5-parted nearly to the base. Staminate flowers corymbose or racemose, with 3 stamens, the filaments united into a short column, the anthers coherent; pistil wanting. Pistillate flowers several together in capitate long-peduncled clusters, with no stamens; ovary oblong or fusiform, 1-celled; ovule 1, pendulous; style short, slender; stigmas usually 3. Fruit spiny, indehiscent, 1-seeded. [Greek, a cucumber or gourd.]
About 35 species, natives of America and Australasia. Besides the following typical species, 2 others occur in the southwestern states.
Sicyos angulatus L. Sp. Pl. 1013. 1753.
Stem angled, more or less viscid-pubescent, climbing to a height of 15°-25°, or trailing. Petioles stout, 1'-4' long, pubescent; leaves nearly orbicular, rough on both sides, rather thin, deeply cordate at the base, 5-angled or 5-lobed, the lobes acute or acuminate, the margins denticulate; staminate flowers loosely corymbose or racemose, borne on elongated peduncles; fertile flowers capitate, their peduncles shorter; fruits sessile, 3-10 together, yellowish, about ¥ long, pubescent, armed with slender rough spines.
Along river banks and in moist places, Quebec and Ontario to Florida, west to South Dakota, Kansas and Texas. Naturalized in eastern Europe. Called also nimble kate, wild cucumber. Leaves sometimes 10' across. June-Sept.