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Marah fabacea

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About Wild Cucumber (Marah fabacea) The California Manroot or Bigroot, Marah fabaceus, is the most common of the manroot species native to California. Its range throughout the state subsumes nearly the entire ranges of all the other California native manroots species and intergrades. Hybrids between California manroot and the other species are common. Like other manroots, it has stout, hairy stems with tendrils. Vines appear in late winter in response to increased rainfall, and can climb or scramble to a length of 6 meters. Its leaves typically have five lobes with individual plants showing wide variation in leaf size and lobe length.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Vine, Perennial herb

Max. Height
18 ft (5.5 m)

Flower Color
Orange, White, Yellow

Flowering Season

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Streamsides, washes, shrubby and open places


Elevation ?
-22' - 5727'

Annual Precip. ?
5.4" - 71.5"

Summer Precip. ?
0.15" - 1.62"

Coldest Month ?
32.2° F - 56.0° F

Hottest Month ?
58.4° F - 78.8° F

Humidity ?
0.04 vpd - 29.98 vpd


Sunset Zones ?
7*, 8, 9, 10, 14*, 15*, 16*, 17*, 18*, 19*, 20*, 21*, 22*, 23*, 24*

Landscaping Information
Water Requirement ?
Very Low, Low
Extremely Low
Very Low
Moderate - High

Propagation ?
Seed no treatment

Nursery Availability
Sometimes Available

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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