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)