This native vining plant is common in the summertime. Its large velvety yellow trumpet flowers lure you closer for a better look. As soon as you step on a leaf or stem you will know why it has the common name of "stinking gourd."
Stinking gourd fruits mature in the fall. They are about the size of
a softball and are a needed winter food source for mammals on the preserve.
(notice the leaves are dried and moldy)
Daniel Benoy braves sitting in the midst of a large patch of stinking
gourd to give you a perspective as to how much ground one plant can cover.
By late September swarms of the ladybug-sized greenish 12-spotted cucumber
beetles will consume the plant. What the beetle doesn't get, mold will.
This is a perfect example of how native species have natural controls,
whereas, there is no natural control for thistles.