from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. a flowering plant in the gourd family (Cucurbitaceae),genus Marah, native to western North America
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A morning-glory, Ipomœa leptophylla, found on the dry plains of Colorado and in adjacent regions.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. tropical American prostrate or climbing herbaceous perennial having an enormous starchy root; sometimes held to be source of the sweet potato
Sorry, no etymologies found.
These wild cucumbers however have nothing to do with the wild cucumber of North America, known as manroot, which are shorter, rounder and spiky.
There have been some pretty silly metaphors used in romances in the past i.e. manroot and I wonder if that hasn’t led to a distrust of all use of metaphor among some romance readers.