Goldencreeper, Thladiantha dubia

Life Cycle



Reproducing almost exclusively from fleshy, underground, potato-like tubers.


Its stems are slender and somewhat twining, can grow up to 1-2m long but mostly climbing over other plants by means of tendrils.


Leaves alternate (1 per node), short-stalked, broadly heart-shaped, about 7.5-15 cm long, with a deep, rounded, U-shaped base, smooth margins, a slender, stretched-out tip, and rough-hairy on both surfaces.

Flowers and Fruit

Flowers showy, bright yellow, 15-25mm across, somewhat resembling the shape of the male (pollen-producing) flowers of the cultivated cucumber. Canadian plants have only male (pollen-producing) flowers; the female (seed-producing) plant apparently has not been introduced. Flowers from July to September.


Goldencreeper occurs in scattered localities in southern Ontario. It persists in old gardens where it was introduced as an ornamental and spreads through lawns, gardens, along roadsides, in waste places and into cultivated fields.

Distinguishing Features

It is distinguished by its rough-hairy, heart-shaped leaves with deep, rounded, U-shaped bases and stretched-out tips, climbing by tendrils, its bright yellow flowers, and reproducing only by very persistent, widely spreading, fleshy, underground, potato-like tubers which make it extremely difficult to eradicate.

Figure #1.

Goldencreeper in Central Ontario field setting in mid June.

Figure #2.

Figure #3.

Goldencreeper plant with potato-like tuber.

Figure #4.

Potato-like tuber of goldencreeper.

Figure #5.

Heart-shaped leaf with deep, rounded, U-shaped base and stretched-out tip.

Figure #6.

Tendrils of goldencreeper.

Figure #7.

Hairy stem on goldencreeper.

Figure #8.

Yellow male flowers of goldencreeper.

Figure #9.