A vining native annual in the cucumber or gourd family (Cucurbitaceae), wild cucumber is often overlooked until it is large and sometimes has engulfed the other plants it is growing on. It occurs throughout much of North America, certainly in the upper Midwest. A fast growing, warm season annual, wild cucumber grows from seed each year, germinating after the last frost. The branching vines can grow up to 25′ or 30′ long, climbing onto other foliage with curling, 3-forked tendrils. Despite the common name, the fruits are not edible, and can cause burning reactions in some people. The pods can be used in dried flower arrangements. An attractive native plant, it is generally considered a weed when climbing on planted trees because of its aggressive growth.