File Size: 157 KB
Cardiospermum halicacabum  L.
Cowley County, Kansas
Height: Vine, 1-11 feet
Family: Sapindaceae - Soapberry Family
Flowering Period:   June, July, August, September
Stems: Sprawling and trailing, much-branched, bearing axillary tendrils.
Leaves: Alternate: petiole .4 to 1.8 inch; blade pentagonal to broadly ovate in outline, 1-2-ternately compound; leaflets ovate-lanceolate to rhombic-lanceolate or narrowly lanceolate, primary leaflets .4 to 3 inches, base wedge-shaped, margins coarsely toothed or lobed, tip acuminate.
Inflorescences: Axillary, panicles, 3-11-flowered; peduncles 1 to 2.4 inches.
Flowers: Sepal lobes 4, unequal, 2 large ones opposite, .1 to .14 inch, 2 small ones opposite, to .06 inch; petals 4, distinct, slightly unequal, white, obovate, .1 to .14 inch, each with petaloid appendage at base; stamens 8; style 1; stigma 3-lobed.
Fruits: Capsules bladdery-inflated, 3-lobed, 1 to 1.6 by 1.1 to 1.2 inch.; seeds 3, globose, black, shiny, ca. .2 inch; aril light gray or white, heart- or kidney-shaped.
Habitat: Moist thickets, riverbanks, fields, and waste places.
Distribution: Scattered occurrence in east 2/3 of Kansas
Origin: Introduced
Comments: Cardiospermum halicacabum occasionally is grown as a trellis plant for its foliage and fruits. Cardiospermum alludes to the heart-shaped aril on the seed.

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