Sicyos villosus Hook. f.

Galapagos Bur Cucumber (Sicyos villosus)  

This species is only known from the type material, which was collected in the year 1853 by Charles Darwin on the island of Floreana. He wrote the following note on his herbaria sheet.:  

… in great beds injurious to vegetation ….”  

Therefore, the Galapagos Bur Cucumber obviously was quite common at that time.  

The reason for the complete extinction of this species lies, in all likelihood, in the feral goats, which until very recently could spread unfettered all over every place, on almost every single island in the Galápagos Archipelago.  


In the year 2006, a program for the eradication of feral goats (and donkeys) was started on the island of Floreana – the same program had proved very successful over several years on other islands of the archipelago. During this campaign the number of goats shot in the year 2008 alone was 1334.  

Unfortunately, goats are still illegally released on the Islands.  



[1] Ira Loren Wiggins; Duncan M. Porter; Edward F. Anderson: Flora of the Galápagos Islands. Stanford University Press 1971 
[2] Alison Pearn: A Voyage Round the World: Charles Darwin and the Beagle Collections in the University of Cambridge. Cambridge University Press 2011


edited: 11.06.2020