Buffalo gourd

Cucurbita foetidissima

summary 2

Cucurbita foetidissima
Missouri gourd

Botanical information
By Kevin, Menaul School
Common Name: Missouri gourd
Scientific Name: Cucurbita foetidissima
Family: Cucurbitaceae
Common name: buffalo gourd, calabazilla, chilicote, coyote gourd, fetid gourd, fetid wild pumpkin, Missouri gourd, prairie gourd, stinking gourd, wild gourd, and wild pumpkin
Leaf shape: lanceolate to round, entire to deeply lobed. generally simple, alternate, generally palmate-lobed and veined, petioled; stipules.
Flower: corolla bigger than 2 cm wide (staminate generally shorter than pistillate), deeply cup-shaped, yellow to orange, fused part 4 to 12 cm, lobes generally recurved; stigmas 3, 2-lobed.
Fruit: spheric to oblong, indehiscent; rind firm, smooth to rough or grooved.
Seed: many, shorter than 20 mm , ovate, flat; margin thick or raised.

Ecological Information
Habits: Herbage coarsely scabrous; tendril branched generally longer than 1 cm from base.
Leaf: ill-smelling, 15 to 30 cm, generally triangular-ovate, angular, gray-green, base cordate or truncate, finely toothed or weakly lobed.
Growth Habit: Vascular plant without significant woody tissue above or at the ground. Forbs and herbs may be annual, biennial, or perennial but always lack significant thickening by secondary woody growth and have perennating buds borne at or below the ground surface.
A plant with large, gray-green, triangular leaves growing along long, prostrate stems. The plants are often 20-30 feet across, with rough, hairy leaves as much as 12 inches long. The large, bell-like flowers, 2-4 inches long, are yellow to orange, 5-lobed at the opening, with stamens that have large anthers deep inside the throat. The globular fruits, about 4 inches across, are green-striped when young, maturing to tennis-ball size and turning yellow.

Ethnobotanical Information:
• Fresh gourd: The fresh young gourd can be eaten like squash. The mature fruit is no longer edible, due to bitter compounds.
• Seeds: Eaten after being prepared by roasting or boiling.
• Oil: The extractable oil content in whole seeds reaches from 24.3% to 50%. Linoleic acid, an essential polyunsaturated fatty acid, comprises 38% to 65% of the oil. A characterization of the oils from buffalo gourd indicates that this oil is similar to other common edible oils.
• Protein: Whole Buffalo gourd seeds contain approximately 31% crude protein, which is usable for human consumption and for feed.
• Starch: Is mainly located in the tap root which forms after the first year of growth. The starch content in the dried root is between 47.5% and 56%.
• Fodder: Fresh leaves or the whole plants can be used as animal food.
• Biofuel: Biodiesel can be produced from the oil in the seeds. But the main interest to produce renewable fuels is to produce biofuel with the carbohydrates which are located in the tap root.
• Other uses: In many Native American cultures, the fruit and other parts of the plant, buffalo gourd oil, were used for soap. Furthermore, the protein can be used for industrial purposes (water paints, paper coating, adhesives and textile sizing). The Zuni people use a poultice of powdered seeds, flowers and saliva to reduce swellings.
Sources and Credits
1. Name, https://plants.sc.egov.usda.gov/core/profile?
2. Some common name, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cucurbita_foetidissima
3. Leaf and flower imformation, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/eflora/eflora_display.php?tid=21361
4. Habits, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/eflora/eflora_display.php?tid=21361
5. Uses, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cucurbita_foetidissima
6. Inat map, https://plants.sc.egov.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=CUFO
7. Pitcure, https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=cucurbita+foetidissima+&FORM=HDRSC2
More info
ARS Germplasm Resources Information Network (CUFO)

CalPhotos (CUFO)

Integrated Taxonomic Information System (CUFO)

Integrated Taxonomic Information System (PEFO4)

Jepson Interchange (University of California - Berkeley) (CUFO)

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center Native Plant Information Network (CUFO)

Native American Ethnobotany (University of Michigan - Dearborn) (CUFO)

USF Atlas of Florida Vascular Plants (CUFO)

University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point Freckmann Herbarium (CUFO)

Sources and Credits

  1. (c) stonebird, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA), http://www.flickr.com/photos/stonebird/22532376/
  2. Adapted by wangkevin from a work by (c) Wikipedia, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cucurbita_foetidissima

More Info

iNat Map