Cucurbita foetidissima

Wild Gourd

Plant family: 


Plant type: Vine

Plant origin: N/A, California, Other Southwest

Container Avail Qty Add to
My List
One Gallon 0   14.99

Add to My List

Flower Color Yellow
Blooming Season Spring
Height 0-1 feet
Spread Spreading
Sun / Shade   
Monthly Water
> Learn More
Wildlife Friendliness Rating
Plant Community > Learn More

Chaparral, Coastal Sage Scrub, Creosote Bush Scrub, Desert, Joshua Tree Woodland, Oak Woodland

Best Soil Conditions > Learn More

Decomposed Granite, Sand, Sandy Loam, Rocky, Riverbed Silt

Special Characteristic

Attracts Wildlife, Edible , Important to Native People, Vines/Espaliers

Plant Highlights

Cucurbita foetidissima is a tuberous xerophytic plant found in the central and southwestern United States and northern Mexico. It has numerous common names, including: buffalo gourd, coyote gourd, wild gourd, and wild pumpkin. Cucurbita foetidissima requires little water and grows best in semiarid and arid environments. This perennial is well adapted to marginal agricultural lands such as sandy loam soils which have to be well-drained.

It produces very long stems that trail along the ground for several yards, along which small, round gourds form. The fresh young gourd can be eaten like squash. The mature fruit is no longer edible, due to bitter compounds. Whole gourd seeds are usable for human consumption and for feed. Fresh leaves or the whole plants can be used as animal fodder. In many Native American cultures, the fruit and other parts of the plant were used for soap. Groups such as the Luiseno and the Cahuilla of southern California, ground the seeds, mixing the resulting flour with water into a mush or paste. However, we do not recommend consuming any parts of this plant as a very detailed knowledge that few now possess in order to consume this plant safely. We grow this plant primarily for habitat restoration purposes.

Leave us a comment, your rating and/or your favorite picture

Please share your thoughts with us about this plant. We would like to hear about the good things and the problems. We also would appreciate seeing any photos and have you rate this plant. To leave comments or to rate a plant you must be registered.




No comments for this plant.