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Need Another ID

Tom

The Dog Trainer
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I see this one pop up in several places every year, and I can't remember what it is.
IMG_1469.JPGIMG_1470.JPG
IMG_1471.JPG

The leaves look like they'd be delicious.
 

MichaelL

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I believe that is a wild cucumber plant/ maroon cucumber, however I'm having trouble finding out if it's okay for tortoises
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
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Looks very much like a wild gourd.

Echinocystis lobata (wild cucumber) is probably edible. Here's the wikipedia:


Some Cucurbitaceae are toxic:

Using your links and jumping around a bit from link to link, I think I found it:

Not sure if I should feed it to the tortoises or not. The tuber was used by Indians to immobilize fish, but it says the leaves have been used as a vegetable. I have so many other known food items to offer them, but its a shame to let this one go to waste if its okay to feed them.
 

ZenHerper

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Using your links and jumping around a bit from link to link, I think I found it:

Not sure if I should feed it to the tortoises or not. The tuber was used by Indians to immobilize fish, but it says the leaves have been used as a vegetable. I have so many other known food items to offer them, but its a shame to let this one go to waste if its okay to feed them.
It seems like a plant that has developed a wide number of defensive chemicals.

No one may be answering, but a local university or ag co-operative may have more specific advice.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
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I have a friend who keeps DTs and she works at the local plant nursery. She confirmed our ID, and when I asked if the tortoises can eat it she said, "They should eat only a small amount occasionally. It is wild cucumber vine and deer and rabbits don't eat it so that says something."

Very good point.

In years past I've just ripped it all out and chucked it since I could never get a firm answer. I think I'll continue that policy just to be on the safe side. There is no shortage of safe known foods right now anyway, and wild deer and rabbits are good teachers if I pay attention.

Thanks to everyone for the assist! 🐢
 

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