Wednesday, July 8, 2015


Gordie, our pet cucurbit, is doing its thing once again.

Fifteen years ago we were traveling along the road near Bent's Fort, Colorado when BBBH asked, "What is the green stuff growing along the road and into the road?"

"That," I answered, "is a wild gourd that grows in this sere country.  It produces little gourds about the size of a baseball that look like little watermelons."


So when I spotted another patch ahead, I slowed, stopped the car, crawled into the vines (aren't there rattlesnakes in this country?) and soon filled the floorboard near her feet with the little globes.

She was amazed.

Back home again in Indiana (wouldn't that make a great song title?) we stored several of the gourds in a box and promptly forgot them.  A year later we discovered them again, dried out and hard. Brilliant me. I broke one open, removed some seeds and dropped a couple of them in the ground near the west side of the house.  And thus Gordie was hatched.

The plant's root is a tuber and it spreads by "fingering" throughout any real estate it can capture.  It is a constant battle to keep the rascal confined to its corner.  And it won't die.  I think this is its thirteenth summer with us now.

Gordie is a cucurbita foetidissima, or as it is commonly called, a Missouri gourd, or buffalo gourd.  As the Latin name implies, it is a stinking gourd.  It is a very useful plant, though, and you may learn about its many applications if you do a web search.

(I should explain, too, that it is not the habit  of c.f. to climb.  We installed sticks and strings for its use.)

Son Carl, aka Neil, has a birthday today, not yet raising the number to stratospheric levels. Happy birthday, Carl.

Word of the day:  cucurbit


Vee said...

With BBBH on this one. It is a pretty plant.

Grace said...

I think THIS is more than I want to know about any gourd LOL

Secondary Roads said...

My pet is a spider plant. We call her spidey. In Spanish she's called la mala madre (the bad mother), because she tosses her young out of the planter.

vanilla said...

Vee, it has faithfully provided greenery for that corner of the house.

Grace, THAT article does cover a lot of information. I like the parts about "is good for human consumption." Did the guy who wrote that ever smell the plant?

Chuck, I had a spider plant in the dining room for many years. I gathered her offspring from time to time and foisted them off onto my staff members. Their offspring may still be around here.

Lin said...

Well, that's a fun plant to have around...AND the accompanying story is good too. I was thinking you brought home some kudzu. ;)

vanilla said...

Lin, we have enjoyed it, except for the keeping the root system corraled, getting rid of all the stinking vines in the fall. It's kinda pretty, though. Kudzu? No, no, and no. (We might be north of its comfort zone, though. Actually, I'm sure of it, for it would have swallowed us by now if not.)