Missouri Gourd Plant Information
Missouri Gourd grows in the following 22 states:Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah, Wisconsin, Wyoming, Arkansas, California, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, Ohio, Texas, Virginia
Geographic location and genetics make it highly likely that Cucurbita scabridifolia originated as a naturally occurring hybrid of C. foetidissima and Cucurbita pedatifolia.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.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.Cucurbita foetidissima is a tuberous xerophytic plant found in the central and southwestern United States and northern Mexico. It 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. The type specimen was collected from Mexico by Humboldt and Bonpland sometime before 1817.
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 15C and 37C with an optimum at 25C.
The maximum depth for a successful germination is 12cm. 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 10-13cm (4-5in) and length of 20-25cm (8-10in). 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 7-10cm (3-4in). The fruit weighs 120 g to 150 g, with 292 to 315 seeds per fruit. The seeds, which are 12mm (0.5in) long and 7mm (0.3in) 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 weigh up to 72kg (159lb). A four-year-old root grown under cultivation can reach a fresh weight of 45kg (99lb) and a length of 2.5m (8.2ft).
Cucurbita foetidissima is native to North America in the central and southwestern United States (Arizona; Arkansas; southern California; Colorado; Kansas; Missouri; southern Nebraska; southern Nevada, New Mexico; Oklahoma; Texas; and southern Utah) and Mexico (Aguascalientes; Chihuahua; Coahuila; Guanajuato; Guerrero; Hidalgo; northern Jalisco; Mexico; Nuevo Len; Quertaro; San Luis Potos; Sonora; Tamaulipas; and Zacatecas).
The buffalo gourd has the potential of being a crop adapted to arid to semiarid lands.
Various insects may penetrate the hard skin of the gourd. External structures appear to prevent damage by most insects and the plant is highly resistant to cucumber beetle and squash bug. White molds seem to result in smooth surface areas and black molds often form circular patterns.
More inforamtion about Missouri Gourd.