Manroot is a long-lived vine in the Cucumber Family (Cucurbitaceae) that is found in North America "from southern British Columbia to central California, mostly west of the Cascade Mountains." (COSEWIC 2009)
. In Canada, it is found at the northern edge of its range, and "it only occurs in a small area extending from southeast Vancouver Island to Pender Island in the Southern Gulf Islands" (COSEWIC 2009). It is found at low elevations, often within 30m of the water's edge, and distribution is correlated with Garry Oak (Quercus garryana
) (COSEWIC 2009).
Manroot has distinctive 'cucumber'-type leaves (irregularly palmately lobed), annual trailing stems, inflated spiny fruits with enlarged seeds, and large tubers.
This is a red-listed species in BC that is considered endangered in Canada by COSEWIC: "fewer than 20 mature plants remain with no evidence of seedling production" (COSEWIC 2009). It is threatened by habitat loss, invasive species, trampling, and "chance events affecting the handful of remaining individuals" (COSEWIC 2009).
"Plants in this group are noted for their large perennial underground tubers, which
can weigh in excess of 100 kg...." (COSEWIC 2009).
Specific details on habitat, reproduction and germination, herbivory, physiology and climatic requirements are provided in the COSEWIC status report.