All Things Gardening forum: Cucurbita foetidissima

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Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
Aug 23, 2014 3:25 PM CST
Couldn't decide which forum this would be most appropriate for this, so finally went with the 'all things' idea. This plant is a really interesting growing thing that's something of a nuisance plant down in the pasture. Last year I planted some seeds and raised a plant. Here it's in its 2nd year and now residing in an old wild game feeder. Don't know the future for this plant. They have a starchy modified root that gets enormous and I'm not sure how it will adapt over time. It's really a vine, but I've never seen it climb anything. Long stout tendrils so I expect it can, but it usually just sprawls out in the pasture. Sometime the runners reach 30'. It's just a neat looking gourd plant and the 'stink' part of the name is an exaggeration. It's fun to tell folks you're growing a 'stinking gourd' Smiling


Donald
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
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Weedwhacker
Aug 25, 2014 7:17 AM CST
It sounds like that thing could make quite a mess out of a field... do the cattle eat the vines?
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Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Cherish today
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar
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SongofJoy
Aug 25, 2014 7:18 AM CST
Love the old game feeder "planter" though. Lovey dubby
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
Aug 25, 2014 7:44 AM CST
Sandy - no the cattle don't eat the vine. Nor much of anything else. It gets aphids sometimes, but most of the chewing insects don't bother it much. The leaves on those established plants can get 12-14" long and 8-9" wide at the widest part. With the gray green color they look neat. It's an interesting plant. There are currently studies being conducted on using it as a food source. Apparently that huge, starchy root is edible and the plant obviously displays some adaptability for growing in harsh, dry conditions. At this time it just a source of winter food for rodents, birds, o'possums, raccoons, and wild turkey (I know, a bird Smiling ) via the gourds. They are already littering the ground down in the pasture and they'll just lie there until winter without much disturbance. They have really tough shells. Mid-winter though, and the mice, rats and squirrels will finally gnaw through the shell exposing the seeds. Then they'll be scattered and become a food source for a lot of wildlife. Mine hasn't bloomed yet after two years, so no gourds. I don't know how long it takes them to mature or if it will never bloom growing in a pot. They are more nuisance than anything else. There are a LOT more unpleasant plants in the pasture.
Donald
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Birds Butterflies Dog Lover Cat Lover
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Weedwhacker
Aug 25, 2014 3:40 PM CST
As a (far) northerner, I'm sometimes amazed by how things grow in the south... (second only to being amazed that I can grow much of anything up here Hilarious! )
"Blessed is he who has learned to laugh at himself, for he shall never cease to be entertained."
- John Powell / Cubits.org - A Universe of Communities
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