Stinking gourd, Cucurbita foetidissima Kunth (Cucurbitaceae), native
- a dicot in the Cucurbitaceae family -

 
stinking gourd has stiff hairy leaves that stink when disturbed
 

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." 

 
 
 

the softball-size gourds are an important food source for mammals all winter long










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)
 

One plant can cover a very large area.
 

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. 
 
 

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