Cucurbita foetidissima

Buffalo Gourd

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Item #: 10906

Zones: 4a to 8b, at least

Dormancy: Winter

Height: 12" tall

Culture: Sun

Origin: United States

Pot Size: 3.5" pot (24 fl. oz/0.7 L)

What if we told you there is a native gourd that's wonderfully ornamental, easy to grow, and perennial north to Zone 4? May we introduce you to the buffalo gourd? Native to deserts from Canada south to New Mexico, this amazing plant forms a 25' wide vine adorned with 1' long, hastate, sandpapery, glaucous leaves and an abundance of huge 4" wide, yellow-orange, chalice-shaped flowers that open in early morning. If the flowers are pollinated you'll also have a nice crop of small green-striped gourds in fall. Despite being native to dry deserts, Cucurbita foetidissima has performed marvelously in our wet, humid summers. Buffalo gourd has been used culinarily and medicinally by Native Americans for over 5,000 years. The fruit is unpalatable, but the seeds, which are high in fat and proteins, were eaten or used in food preparation. Some Indian tribes consider the buffalo gourd to have great healing powers and used it on various body parts. Albeit poisonous in its natural form, various preparations from the tuberous root (which can reach 100 pounds) are used to relieve chest pain, as a powerful laxative, disinfectant, applied to sores, and as a laundry soap and shampoo. Buffalo gourds for the masses!