Sep. 21, 2017

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Wild cucumbers are delightfully complicated.  Among the long petalled flowers you can see smaller, yellow, somewhat conical ones.  They almost look like buds.  Those are the female flowers, and what you're seeing is the pistil  The fruit is a spiny bladder a couple of inches long.  It develops four seeds, and persists through the winter.  In the spring it breaks open at the bottom, dropping the four seeds to start another season.  This plant was much used for medicine by Indians.  The Menominee considered it the greatest of all medicines.  Among the many uses was a love potion.