Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Plant, Soil and Environmental Sciences

Major Professor

Larry S. Jeffery

Committee Members

Elmer L. Ashburn, David L. Coffey


Burcucumber (Sicyos angulatus L.) is an annual climbing vine, which often becomes a troublesome and persistent weed in bottomland areas where flooding is common. This weed is a significant pest in some areas of Tennessee and a potential problem in others.

Burcucumber growth and development were monitored throughout the 1983 growing season. Burcucumber plants began emerging 2 days after tillage (May 30) and continued emerging through October 26. Plants grew rapidly and stems were over 6 meters long by the end of the growing season.

A survey was prepared and sent to each county Extension Leader in Tennessee to determine extent and distribution of burcucumber in Tennessee, economical importance and control practices being used. It was determined that 75 counties (79%) of the 95 counties have burcucumber and an estimated 25,821 hectares are infested in Tennessee. Burcucumber infestation is rapidly spreading in some areas. Control measures mentioned included a variety of preemergence and postemergence herbicides, as well as some cultural practices.

Research was conducted to evaluate herbicides which may be used for burcucumber control and to determine the duration of their control. In the summer of 1983, a field study was initiated in a naturally infested field located in Blount County, on a Staser silt loam with a 1.9% organic matter content. The plots were 3.9 by 9.1 meters and arranged in a randomized complete block design with 3 replications. Several preplant incorporated, preemergence and postemergence herbicides were evaluated for burcucumber control. Each postemergence herbicide was applied early postemergence when most of the burcucumber plants were in the 2 to 3 leaf stage and mid postemergence when the target plants reached an early vining stage.

Herbicide treatments indicate that atrazine {2-chloro-4- (ethylamino)-6-(isopropylamino)-S-triazine) applied either preplant incorporated or preemergence at a 4.5 kg a.i./ha (2X) rate, gave very good burcucumber control at the end of the season and atrazine plus simazine (2-chloro-4,6-bis(ethylamino)-S-triazine) at 2.2 + 2.2 kg a.i./ha gave satisfactory control at the season's end. The experimental herbicide, imazaquin (proposed) (2-[4,5-Dihydro-4- methyl-4-(1-methyl ethyl)-5-oxo-1H-imidazol-2-yl]-3-quinolinecarboxylic acid) applied preemergence at 0.2 kg a.i./ha gave very good burcucumber control for 6 weeks after application but by 9 weeks, control had fallen to an unsatisfactory level. The early and mid postemergence treatments of Trimec1, 2,4-D ((2,4-dichlorophenoxy) acetic acid) and dicamba (3,6-dichloro-o-anisic acid) showed some positive responses, but results were somewhat erratic and a definite conclusion on their efficacy on burcucumber was not reached. Other herbicide treatments used in the experiment did not give satisfactory control.

Postemergence herbicides applied alone did not give lasting control of burcucumber since germination occurs throughout the growing season. A 2X rate of atrazine was the only commercially available herbicide found to give very good season-long control. The experimental herbicide, imazaquin, showed promise when applied preemergence, but gave little control when applied postemergence.

Files over 3MB may be slow to open. For best results, right-click and select "save as..."