Cucurbita digitata Coyote Gourd, Fingerleaf Gourd
ANNUAL. A green vine that creeps along the groud or climbs into
shrubs, fastening itself with coiled tendrils. Handlike, five-lobed
leaves are dark bluish-green with prominent white veins. Flowers
large, wrinkled, trumpet-shaped, bright yellow. Fruit is a dry spherical
thin-shelled gourd, about the size of an orange. Usually a late summer
plant but may appear in May after a wet winter. C. foetidissima
has similar gourds but has large, rough, grayish-green arrow-shaped leaves.
(NOTE: These native gourds are occasionally used for crafts but are
rather fragile and have a tight, waxy coating that is difficult to remove.
Their shells are much thinner than the domestic Lagenaria (dippers
and other large gourds) and Pepo (peyote gourd, egg gourd, etc.)
which are natives of Asia. Occasional in the Empires on bare, sandy
disturbed ground, washes, etc.
FAMILY: Cucurbitaceae (Cucumber Family)