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Pest Information

Western Wild Cucumber

Western Wild Cucumber

  • Latin Name: Marah Oreganus
  • Common Name: Western Wild Cucumber
  • Other Names: Bigroot, manroot, old-man-in-the-ground

Pest Details

Western Wild Cucumber


Native to the western United States and Canada.


A perennial vine-like weed, with a huge taproot with a woody texture, that gives this weed one of its common names.


Numerous stems come from the root, and these are long and thick as they twine over other plants or the soil. Leaves are on stalks and are up to 6 inches long and distinctly lobed, with a shiny, somewhat fleshy feel. Flowers are whitish and 5-petaled, somewhat star-shaped. The fruit is a gourd that reaches 3 or 4 inches in length. It is somewhat football shaped, beaked at the end, and becomes spiny as it matures.

Characteristicts Important to Control:

The huge size of the taproot must be taken into consideration when applying a post-emergent herbicide, and if physical removal is attempted this taproot must be removed as well.

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