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California Manroot
Marah fabacea
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What's with the name manroot? California Manroot is a vine with some interesting parts, but its root can be crazy! The root is tuberous (like a potato or a yam), and in a manroot plant, the root can look like a stick-figure man. And weigh 100 pounds or more!

This is probably the biggest Manroot leaf I've ever seen. It was 10 or 11 inches across.

California Manroot is a monoecious plant, which means that it has both male and female flowers on it. The flowers (and buds) on the stalk are the male flowers, and the female flower is the single one at the bottom of the stalk.

The female flower also has a bulbous base, which you can see in this angle.

A close-up of the female flower.

A close-up of a male flower.

California Manroot is also sometimes called "wild cucumber" because its fruit grows like a cucumber--a spiky round cucumber!

I had wondered what the black stuff on the leaves was.

But then I saw this. Notice the antennae? The black stuff is likely droppings from whatever bug or beetle these are.

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