Hardiness: USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 °C (-15 °F) USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 °C (-10 °F) USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 °C (-5 °F) USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 °C (0 °F) USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 °C (5 °F) USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 °C (10 °F) USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 °C (15 °F) USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 °C (20 °F) USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F) USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F) USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 °C (35 °F)
Sun Exposure: Partial to Full Shade
Danger: Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested
Bloom Color: Gold (Yellow-Orange)
Bloom Time: Mid Summer Late Summer/Early Fall
Other details: May be a noxious weed or invasive Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Soil pH requirements: 6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic) 6.6 to 7.5 (neutral) 7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)
Patent Information: Non-patented
Propagation Methods: From seed; direct sow after last frost
Seed Collecting: Unblemished fruit must be significantly overripe before harvesting seed; clean and dry seeds Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored
On Oct 30, 2010, dulciquilt from Lubbock, TX wrote:
In west Texas the gourd grows wild in fields and along the highways in full sun. I find it hard to believe they were used for any kind of utensil as they are as fragile as hen eggs. The root can grow to be 18" across and 3'-4' long. There is research being done regarding growing them as an oil source. They produce more oil per acre than corn and the oil has more protein and less saturated fat. They would only need to seed once, then harvest every other row and let the remain go to seed . They are also called stink melon or stink gourd because when green they smell like rotten onions or really bad body odor.
I love this plant but it grows like crazy and can be invasive. I too collect the softball size gourds to dry and display for holidays. The deer don't eat them and they last forever and are really lovely. The leaves are very rough and abrasive. Mine are native. They just showed up and propagate all by themselves each year in FULL sun.
On Jan 3, 2010, texasflora_com from De Leon, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:
Most of the times I have seen this gourd growing, it was at the side of the highway, growing right out onto the shoulder. And contrary to the info above saying it grows in shade, this plant grows in full sun and isn't fazed a bit by the hot summer sun in Texas.
On Jul 31, 2009, farmboyvo from Blairstown, NJ wrote:
I found this gourd in the Gila wilderness in south west N.M almost 10 years ago.I planted the seeds in my garden here in New Jersey i have been growing organic veggies for the past 18 years so it seems odd that this plant has assumed a perennial status in my zone 5 garden for the past 9 seasons it comes back from a burdock looking root(or like a carrot)white flesh that seems to handle our winters and sprout after the garden is turned in the spring.The only thing i found about it is the indians used it as a way to ween children from mothers milk.This seemed true since although it looks like spagetti squash it is so bitter it left the tast in my mouth for a long time.
On Sep 16, 2008, trish53 from Falls City, TX wrote:
I have this plant growing wild in may fields. I use them during the holidays sitting along side my pumkins and other decorative gourds and decorations. Does anyone have information on drying and painting them?
On Oct 20, 2003, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:
San Antonio, Tx.
In my area we call this plant just "wild gourd". It can be found from Mexico to Missouri and Nebraska. The flowers are monoecious, that is, individual flowers are either male or female with both sexes being found on the same plant. The plant is self-fertile. When the seeds are spouting, a toxic substance is produced by their embryos and there are reports that the root is poisonous. It produces small round gourds that are green with vertical off white stripes. When the fruit is ripe, it turns a yellowish color.
Many native North American tribes used and still use wild gourd as a medicine. The mashed plant has been used as a poultice to treat skin sores and ulcers and the stems and leaves have been employed as a laxative. To remove stains from clothing, the fruit is sliced and simmered in water to obtain a soap substitute. The dried gourds having a thick, tough skin were used as rattles and carved to make spoons and ladles.
This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:
Ash Fork, Arizona Sierra Vista Southeast, Arizona , California Calabasas, California Penrose, Colorado Walsenburg, Colorado Rolla, Kansas Blairstown, New Jersey Elephant Butte, New Mexico Roswell, New Mexico Cement, Oklahoma Hulbert, Oklahoma Austin, Texas Bulverde, Texas Cibolo, Texas De Leon, Texas Falls City, Texas Kerrville, Texas Lubbock, Texas Odessa, Texas Roby, Texas San Antonio, Texas Winters, Texas