Sigismund Kunth, 1817
South-Western USA, Mexico
Minimum - Medium
Gourd, Coyote Gourd, Calabazilla, Chilicote, Fetid Gourd,
Missouri Gourd, Prairie Gourd, Stinking Gourd, Wild Gourd
perennis, E. James, 1823.
Ozodycus perennis, Raf.
Cucurbita perennis, A. Gray, 1850.
foetidissima, Britton, 1913.
Cucumis foetidissimus, Hemsl.
This member of the Cucurbitaceae
family was first collected by Humboldt and Bonpland somewhere in
Mexico, sometime before 1817. It is found throughout the
south-western part of the USA and Mexico. The vines tend to sprawl
along the ground rather than attaining height, but can reach a
length of several meters. In the wild, the taproot can expand to 40
centimetres or more in diameter, and 1.5 meters in depth. Cultivated specimens have
been seen to grow significantly larger and deeper. This plant has
been considered as a semi-arid regions biofuel crop, as well as
having been used historically for astringent/disinfectant qualities
and other healing purposes. The edible seeds contain 25-42% fat and
22-35% protein. The immature fruits are also edible, though mature
fruits are not, and parts of the plant can be toxic if ingested. The
fruits can reach a diameter of about ten centimetres, and contain hundreds of
seeds which may remain viable for months or even years inside of the
The genera name from Latin; cucumis; 'gourd'. The species name
indicate a fault smell.
I am unaware of how (or if) the taproot will handle exposure above
can add, he actually has been growing this plants for years. Despite
attempts to raise the caudex, it have never succeeded him. The
plants refuses to set out new leaves, and after a year, they die. He
can further more add, the species name is well deserved: The plant
have an awful smell, filling the entire greenhouse.