Wild cucumber, also called balsam apple, (species Echinocystis lobata), climbing plant of the gourd family (Cucurbitaceae), native to eastern North America. Vines reach 15-20 feet long, are self supporting, and form masses of beautiful white flowers.
The vine produces stems that can be as long as 25ft and which climb, with the help of coiling, branched tendrils, over shrubs and fences or trail across the ground. The flowers are monoecious, with separate male and female blooms on the same plant. The fruit is a prickly, inflated capsule up to 2” long. It is frequently planted to cover arbors and fences. The dried vines and cucumbers are great in dried arrangements. Despite its name, the Wild Cucumber is NOT edible.