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Cutleaf Globe Berry Ibervillea tenuisecta


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Cutleaf Globe Berry - fruits and leaf
credit: Joseph j7uy5/CCSA

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Alternate name: Deer-apples

Family: Cucurbitaceae, Cucumber view all from this family

Description Shiny, spherical berries, resembling scarlet marbles, hanging on a small climbing vine with tiny, yellowish-green flowers and an enlarged woody caudex just underground.
Habit: native perennial vine or herb; climbing, branching stem, gray-green to blue-gray; from caudex to 14 in (35 cm) diameter.
Height: stems to 4 ft (1.2 m) long or more.
Leaf: alternate, palmately divided, lobes triangular to linear, sharply toothed, to 3 in (75 mm) long and wide.
Flower: tiny, pale yellow to yellow-green, 5-parted, to 0.5 in (12 mm) wide; male and female flowers on same plant.
Fruit: round berry, mottled green and white becoming bright red, 0.5-0.75 in (12-19 mm) diameter.

Flower June to August.

Habitat Open, well-drained, well-watered sites: along shallow gullies and on rocky slopes in deserts; also cultivated ornamentally.

Range Southeastern Arizona east to western Texas and south to northern Mexico.

Discussion Also called slimlobe globeberry, deer-apples. The latin names Maximowiczia lindheimeri var. tenuisecta and Sicydium lindheimeri var. tenuisectum are also used.

Less common is Globe Berry (I. lindheimeri), found in Texas and southern Oklahoma. Its leaf divisions are much broader, and the berry is 1-1.5 in (2.5-4 cm) wide.