This is a common and aggressive vine, which produces clusters of small (usually 5-petaled) cream to white flowers, followed by large, prickly fruit. The plant is monoecious. The clusters of small flowers are male (upper left in photo #2). The female flower (when present) is solitary, a little below the cluster of male flowers (lower left). The female flower is a little larger, and is recognizable by the prickly ovary, which quickly develops into the plant’s fruit. Sometimes known as Manroot, supposedly because the root is as big as a man’s torso. The last picture shows a modest sized-root, which was 2 feet long and 1 foot wide. Large storage roots explain the rapid, vining growth in early spring. Photos #1 and 3 by CJH.