Native to North America, and found from Texas to Florida, and north to Illinois and New York.
A perennial plant that grows as a shrub or vine, able to trail along fences and other foliage. Reproduction is from seeds that form slowly in the large, conspicuous fruits.
Stems are thin but woody and of a very tough, fibrous makeup. Short, erect, stout spines occur sporadically along the stems, which may grow in almost a zig-zag fashion between leaf nodes. The leaves grow on short stalks and are elongate spade-shaped, with the base of the leaf flared on each side to pointed lobes. The leaf surface is a mottled dark and light green. Flowers occur in small umbels, or clusters, on stalks arising from the leaf nodes. These are small and pale yellow, with long stamens rising from the center of the flower.
Characteristicts Important to Control:
A systemic herbicide will be needed to effectively kill the entire plant, and physical removal of plants growing where not wanted may be necessary in order to eliminate the dead stems.