Coyote Melon, Coyote Gourd

Cucurbita palmata

Family: Cucurbitaceae (koo-ker-bih-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Cucurbita (koo-KER-bih-ta) (Info)
Species: palmata (pahl-MAY-tuh) (Info)


Vines and Climbers

Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


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)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Partial to Full Shade


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Gold (Yellow-Orange)

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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:


Propagation Methods:

Direct sow as soon as the ground can be worked

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds

Unblemished fruit must be significantly overripe before harvesting seed; clean and dry seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:


Arivaca, Arizona

Golden Valley, Arizona

Hereford, Arizona

Tucson, Arizona

Willow Beach, Arizona

Menifee, California

San Pablo, California

Yucca Valley, California

Percival, Iowa

Las Vegas, Nevada (2 reports)

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Sep 4, 2016, kinderegg from Las Vegas, NV wrote:

I planted these in a south facing wall in Las Vegas and they thrived despite the desert sun which would scorch a lot of other plants. They climbed without support up the stucco wall. They did fall down towards the end of the summer. Plants die back in the winter. Yellow flowers resemble squash flowers and are short lived, but they do pull in pollinators. The gourds look like green pumpkins about the size of a baseball. The leaves are very attractive resembling ivy, Palmate venation hence palmata.


On Nov 8, 2012, travelordon from Saskatoon,
Canada wrote:

On picking some for seeds out of the ditch by Hackberry I was told by a business owner that coyotes and dogs have been known to eat these to vomit. Maybe the Natives knew something I don't.


On Dec 1, 2006, Xenomorf from Phoenix, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

This fruit has been eaten by the native indians for eons.
I've seen these growing in the wild on the West Ruby Road Trail in Arizona (South of Tucson), off of Interstate 19 through to Ruby, AZ and on to Arivaca, AZ.