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What Is This Vine With White Flowers & Cactus-like Seed Pod

Ask the Expert: What is it?
we have a crawling vine on our fence that looks like a maple leaf but has little white flowers and it has little cactus looking plums on it? grows really quickly. Deline

California Vine With Small White Flowers

Coast Wild Cucumber

Vine and prickly seed pod

Marah fabaceus Seed Pod

Flower Shop Network‘s Plant Expert:
It looks like a member of the wild cucumber family which is the Marah genus.

I think this particular plant is a Marah fabaceus. It is commonly called California manroot, Coast wild cucumber, Manroot, wild cucumber and bigroot. The plant is found throughout California. Although the Marah genus can be found in various parts of the country, the Marah fabaceus is endemic (limited) to California alone.

It is consider a perennial vine and a herb.  The prickly fruit may resemble cucumbers, but is not edible. It has a very bitter taste.

Native Californians used this fruit medicinally. The Kumeyaay people use the crushed tubers of this plant to aid in fishing. They throw the crushed tubers in the water to immobilize the fish.

This plant identification was brought to you by the local florists in San Francisco.

What Is This Spiky Pod

Spiky Flower Pod

Spiky Flower Pod

Ask the Expert: Found this plant and trying to find out more
Hello!  I am trying to find out more about this plant I found.  It has these green round balls with small spikey things on them, but they are filled with air.  Do you know anything like that?  One of my friends thinks she has seen them dried before.  She thought it was called an Oscar – but I keep doing online searches and can’t come up with anything! THANKS!

Plant Expert Reply

It appears to be a Gomphocarpus physocarpus or Asclepias physocarpus.  You friend was partially correct. There is a Asclepias physocarpus called Oscar. It is commonly called Ballon plant or Swan plant and is in the milkweed family.  Catepillars love this plant.  Although I don’t think it is native any where in the U.S. (it is a southeast Africa native), there are many seed supplier who sell this plant.  It can become invasive if not controlled.

What are the Prickly Pods in My Flower Arrangement?

Ask the Expert: Identify plant with prickly seed pods?
Thanks.  Bob

See Attached Photo

Green Lanterns Asclepia Pods

Green Lanterns Asclepia Pods