We discovered a long vine of 30-40 feet long growing around a large evergreen tree in northern Waukesha (WI) county. This vine had prickly seed pods. Needless to say, we are curious of its identity.
This is wild cucumber (Echinocystis lobata) and it can be found throughout most of the United States winding its way through trees, shrubs and other plants. This annual weed reproduces by seed and prefers moist soils. It is definitely eye catching and once you have seen it you are sure to spot more on future hikes and travels. Remove the weed from gardens and cut it off of desirable plants to keep it from interfering with the growth of your ornamental plants.