Addressıng of Invasıve Alıen Specıes Threats ın Terrestrıal Areas and Inland Waters ın Turkey

Bur Cucumber

(Sicyos angulatus)

Bur Cucumber

Family name: Cucurbitaceae

Species name: Sicyos angulatus L.

Synonym  name: Elaterium trifoliatum L.

Common name: İtdolanbacı, ham bostan

English name: Bur cucumber, One seeded bur cucumber, Star cucumber

Group: Plant

Year of introduction: 1995

Year of first report: 1996

National distribution area:

East and Middle Black Sea Parts (313 registries)

Distribution details:

Artvin, Rize, Trabzon, Giresun, Ordu (Gülyalı)

Type of introduction:


Pathway of introduction:

Introduction in our country occurs via bird migration, small mammals, human and transportation of agricultural products.

Source Country:

Georgia (Batum)

Country of Origin:



Wet and humid areas at the altitude of 0-1195 which are rich in nutrition, inside the watercourse, floodplain areas, road banks, waste and garbage disposal areas


Invasive Alien Species


The species is reported from 313 locations in Artvin, Rize, Trabzon, Giresun and Ordu (Gülyalı) provinces in East Black Sea Region (22925 km2) since its first report year of 1996. The area size of reporting is nearly 190.000 km2. In existing areas, it reaches up to 1195 m height starting from sea level.


Among the factors increasing the invasiveness of the species could be listed as follows: even one individual could alone produce tens of thousands seeds and the high germination capability of produced seeds, it could easily climb over through light by holding onto the herbaceous and woody plants, rocks, walls, electric poles thanks to its typical tendrils, it could slow down or stop the growth and proliferation of plants that it shares the same habitat thanks to its special allele-chemicals.


It causes the overturn of especially herbaceous plants by entangling to them in agricultural areas, the product loss and challenges in harvesting. By getting a grip on herbaceous, woody, shrub, semi-shrub and trees currently existing in the habitat, it leaves them lightless, crushes or squeezes them because of the weigh as a consequence of growing so rapidly and also it prevents the growth of other natural plants by growing rapidly and even causes some plants’ disappearance. In addition, the fact that the rare-endemic plant that shares the same habitat in the natural habitats that it spreads occupies the habitats poses a risk for the continuation of biological diversity. It is noted that 15-20 individuals in every 10 m2 in Japan cause 80% yield loss in corn production (Shimizu, 1999). The species is listed among the most problematic alien plant species in South-eastern parts of India, where corn and soybean cultivation are made, and in places where soy and corn cultivation are in America.


The species can be easily recognized at an early stage, when it begins to bloom and produce fruits. This situation provides an important advantage in the combat. The fact that the species is one year is also a factor facilitating the combat. It is important for the combat for the species’ development to be largely dependent on light and moisture. For this reason, the “burning” of the areas where the species is found before germination in early spring, soil, black canvas, mulch, etc. in areas where the contaminated areas are not particularly light. The uses of tools are effective preventive measures. As for the combat in our country, it is recommended to prevent the beginning of the species’ western spread (Ordu-Gülyalı) from extending towards the west.


  • Duman, H. & Güner, A., 1996. A New Record for the Flora of Turkey, Turkish Journal of Botany, 20: 383–384.
  • EPPO, 2010. EPPO Data Sheet on Invasive Alien Species. Sicyos angulatus L. Bulletin OOBB/EPPO. 40:401-406 (2010).
  • Güner A, Aslan S, Ekim T, Vural M and Babaç MT (2012). A Checklist of the Flora of Turkey (Vascular Plants) Nezahat Gökyiğit Botanik Bahçesi ve Flora Araştırmaları Derneği Yayını, İstanbul.
  • Shimizu N. The level of damage by the foreign weed Sicyos angulatus. Weed Science Society of Japan, No. 2:2-3 (1999).
  • Terzioğlu, S. ve Anşin, R. 1999. Türkiye’nin Egzotik Bitkilerine Bir Katkı: Sicyos angulatus L. Turkish J of Agriculture and Forestry 23: 359–362.
  • Terzioğlu, S., Coşkunçelebi K., Başkent, E.Z ( 2014). İtdolanbacı (Sicyos angulatus L.) Tür Mücadele Eylem Planı (2015-2017). Doğa Koruma ve Milli Parklar Genel Müdürlüğü, Rize 12. Bölge Müdürlüğü, Giresun Şube Müdürlüğü, Giresun.
  • Uraguchi S, Watanabe I, Kuno K, Hoshino Y & Fujii Y (2003) Allelopathy of floodplain vegetation species in the middlecourse of Tama River. Journal of Weed Science and Technology 48, 117–129.