Echinocystis lobata (Michx.) Torr. & A.Gray
Family: Cucurbitaceae
balsam-apple, wild-cucumber
Echinocystis lobata image
Merel R. Black  
Etymology: Echinocystis: Greek echinos for "hedgehog" and cystis for "bladder," from prickly fruit
Plants: annual, herbaceous vine; stems with many branching tendrils
Leaves: long-stalked, 3-5 sharply-triangular lobes
Flowers: white, 6-parted, 1/3" wide, male flowers star-like with thin, long petals; inflorescence with male flowers in a long, erect cluster (raceme) interspersed with 1 to a few female flowers; blooms July-Sept.
Fruits: green, oval, 1" long, inflated capsule with soft prickles; 4 seeds
Habitat: wet to moist; streambanks, thickets, roadsides
Conservation Status: Native