Marah oregana

From Puget Prairie Plants
  • Latin Name: Marah oregana
  • Family: Cucurbitaceae
  • Common Names: coastal manroot, wild cucumber
  • Synonyms/Misapplications: Echinocystis oregana, Marah oreganus, Sicyos oregana, Megarrhiza oregana, Micrampelis
    oregana
  • Codon: MARORE

Taxonomy

Marah oregana
Photo by Rod Gilbert, also featured on Main Page
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta
Phylum: Spermatophyta
Subphylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Subclass: Rosanae
Order: Cucurbitales
Family: Cucurbitaceae
Genus: Marah Kellogg
Species: Marah oregana (Torr. ex A. Gray) Howell

Description

Native perennial, trailing or climbing with tendrils.

Leaves are alternate, palmately lobed, rough and hairy, and cordate at the base.

Flowers are unisexual, corolla campanulate and white, monoecious.

The bladder-like fruits are sparsely to densely covered with flexible prickles that harden with age, dehiscent at apex when dry. [1]

Name comes from Hebrew marah, bitter, from the intensely bitter root.[2]

Bloom Period

April-June[3]

Distribution

Southwestern BC southwards, west of Cascade-Sierran acis, to northern California, eastwards in Columbia River Gorge, northeast Oregon, and rarely Hells Canyon. [2]

Habitat

Bottomlands and open slopes at low elevations.[2]

Uses

Squaxin use of an infusion of smashed stalks as a soak for sore hands, plant considered poisonous.[4]

Seed

Seed sample from: 2011

Average Measurement: 16.8 x 17 x 8.5

Measurement Range: L: 15 – 18, W: 16 – 18, D: 8 – 9

Features

Shape: Seeds very large, rounded with a pinched looking hilum.

Color: Dark brown, with a lighter brown hilum. Under high magnification seed appears speckled with black.

Surface: Seed covered in very fine velvety hairs. Under high magnification seed appears slightly glossy, but with naked eye, seed is matte.


Latitudinal Cross Section: elliptical MAOR lat.png

Longitudinal Cross Section: elliptical MAOR long.png

Photo Gallery

References

  1. Bowcutt, F., & Hamman, Sarah. (2016). Vascular plants of the South Sound prairies (First ed.). Olympia, Washington: The Evergreen State College Press.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Hitchcock, C. L., Cronquist, A., Giblin, D., & Legler, B. et al. (2018). Flora of the Pacific Northwest: an illustrated manual. Seattle: University of Washington Press.
  3. WTU Herbarium, Burke Museum, & University of Washington. Retrieved from https://biology.burke.washington.edu/herbarium/imagecollection/taxon.php?Taxon=Marah%20oregana
  4. Native American Ethnobotany Database. Retrieved from http://naeb.brit.org/uses/search/?string=marah+oreganus