Marah fabaceus (a.k.a. mountain cucumber or manroot) is a pernicious California native vine which grows like kudzu here in the winter and spring. It smothers nearby plants, then produces potato sized thorny seed pods. If it is not removed promptly, it dies back when the weather warms up, creating a tangled, tinder-box-like fire hazard which breaks apart at the slightest tug, making it a royal pain to clean up. You cannot kill the plant; the only way to remove it permanently is to dig up the root which can weigh up to 100 lbs (hence the name manroot).
Imagine my surprise to see my garden nemesis transformed by my son (with help from my wife) into an ephemeral hedgehog tribute to Mrs. Tiggy-winkle. Media: manroot seedpod, pepper corns, salt, pasta o’s