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Cucurbita foetidissima - Buffalo Gourd - 10 Fresh Seeds
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Cucurbita foetidissima - Buffalo Gourd - 10 Fresh Seeds


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Curcurbita foetidissima - Buffalo Gourd

This listing is for 10 seeds of this perennial gourd from the south western USA and Mexico.

Cucurbita foetidissima, has numerous common names, including: buffalo gourd, calabazilla, chilicote, coyote gourd, fetid gourd, fetid wild pumpkin, Missouri gourd, prairie gourd, stinking gourd, wild gourd, and wild pumpkin. A tuberous plant, it is a true xerophyte that is found in the Southwestern United States and Northwestern Mexico.

The feral perennial buffalo gourd has evolved in the semiarid regions and is well-adapted to desert environments. It contains high amounts of protein and carbohydrates and yields abundant oil. The carbohydrates that are formed in the tap root have led to the idea of growing the plant for biofuel. The fruit is consumed by both humans and animals. When mature, a stage marked by increasing desiccation of vine, leaves, fruit-stem, and fruit, the fruit begins its final gourd stage.

Cucurbita foetidissima requires little water and grows best in semiarid and arid environments.Warm weather is required during the five- to eight-month vegetation period. This perennial is well adapted to marginal agricultural lands such as sandy loam soils which have to be well-drained. Germination temperature range is between 15 °C and 37 °C with an optimum at 25 °C. The maximum depth for a successful germination is 12 cm. The germination is possible in a pH range from 2.2 (germination rate 15% ) up to pH 8 (germination rate 90%). Asexual propagation is possible from nodal roots.

The leaves of the buffalo gourd are typically entire and heart-shaped with a base of 10–13 cm (4–5 in) and length of 20–25 cm (8–10 in). The flowers are borne singly at the nodes of the vines after a certain amount of annual vegetative growth has taken place. The fruit has a diameter of 7–10 cm (3–4 in). The fruit weighs 120 g to 150 g, with 292 to 315 seeds per fruit. The seeds, which are 12 mm (0.5 in) long and 7 mm (0.3 in) wide, weigh about 4 g per 100 seeds, with the seed coat accounting for about 30% of the seed weight. The seeds often remain viable for months or even years within an undamaged gourd. One hectare of plants can produce 2.5 tons of seed.

The plant forms a fleshy tap root which is used as a storage and overwintering structure. The central tap root can weight up to 72 kg (159 lb). A four-year-old root grown under cultivation can reach a fresh weight of 45 kg (99 lb) and a length of 2.5 m (8.2 ft)

Easy to grow and cultivate, it thrives in sunny locations and will not tolerate frost. It is ideal as a greenhouse plant or for growing in a pot. In areas without frost it can be grown outside as long as it gets a sunny spot.

Full instructions can be found here.

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