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Marah macrocarpus - (Greene.)Greene.
Common Name Chilicothe, Cucamonga manroot
Family Cucurbitaceae
USDA hardiness 7-10
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Dry places below 900 metres[71].
Range South-western N. America - California.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Frost Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun


Marah macrocarpus Chilicothe,  Cucamonga manroot

Marah macrocarpus Chilicothe,  Cucamonga manroot
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of flower
Marah macrocarpus is a PERENNIAL CLIMBER growing to 5 m (16ft 5in) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 8. It is in flower from Jul to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.The plant is self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil.

Echinocystis macrocarpa. Greene.

Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade;
Edible Uses
None known
Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Parasiticide;  Purgative;  Skin.

The root is purgative[61, 257]. The seed is made into a paste and used as a treatment on pimples and skin sores[257]. The oil from the seed is rubbed into the scalp to treat diseased scalps and hair roots[257]. The plant juices can be used as a parasiticide, rubbed onto areas of skin affected by ringworm[257].


Other Uses
Dye;  Paint;  Parasiticide;  Soap.

A red dye is obtained from the seed[61]. It can be mixed with iron oxide and turpentine to make a paint[257]. The root is used to make a detergent lather[257].
Cultivation details
Prefers a sunny position in a well-drained rich soil with abundant moisture[1, 175]. Succeeds in ordinary garden soil[175]. Plants are found in dry soils in the wild so this suggests that they will be better off in a dry soil in this country[K]. A perennial plant, it is not very hardy in Britain, tolerating temperatures down to about -5°c, and is perhaps best grown as an annual. A climbing plant, supporting itself by means of tendrils[219].
Seed - sow early spring in pots of rich soil in a greenhouse. Germination usually takes place within 1 - 2 weeks at 20°c. Put 2 or 3 seeds in each pot and thin to the best plant. Grow on fast and plant out after the last expected frosts.
Other Names
Found In
Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :
Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Marah fabaceusBigroot, California manroot10


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Botanical References
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Readers comment
Brian Taraz   Mon Apr 11 18:16:19 2005
It is April 2005. Due to historic rain Marah Macrocarpus is all over San Diego. Most significant is the abundance of the green, spikey fruit. As to "edibility" I have found that the "meat" of the seed is quite edible but requires the sloughing off of the green seed coat. That taste begins sweet and finishes with a bitterness, mostly due to the oil. Seeds that are sun-dried still retain the meat but there is more oil when pressed and the resulting paste is like Marzipan in consistency.

Link: Dennis Albert home page At bottom of home page click on "Wild Cucumber"

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Subject : Marah macrocarpus  

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