Coyote Melon, Coyote Gourd
Common name: Coyote Gourd, Coyote Melon
Latin name: Cucurbita palmata
Height: Low to the ground
Description: Cucurbita palmata is a sprawling vine with the above-the-ground part of the plant rough to the touch usually owing to short, stiff hairs. The stiff, curling yellow flowers are 6-8 cm wide. The plant bears smooth spherical or almost spherical squash fruits 8 to 10 centimeters wide. The fruits ripen from green with greenish-white stripes to bright yellow and then pale gold when the gourd is dry.
Leaf: The dark green, light-veined leaves are sharply palmate with usually five long triangular points.
Range: Southwestern California, Desert, San Joaquin Valley, Central Western California
Habitat: Sandy places
Elevation: < 1300 m.
Flowering time: Apr–Sep
Notes: Cucurbita palmata, a dicot, is an annual or perennial herb that is native to California and is also found outside of California, but is confined to western North America. "The striped, green gourds are fibrous and unpalatable inside, but ground seeds were eaten by native Indians, and the dried gourds were used as rattles in dances. During fall when the melons are ripe and plentiful, the flat, watermelon-like seeds are often found in coyote scat." http://waynesword.palomar.edu/ww0503.htm#coyote The gourds are often used by artists to make bowels and other decorative arts. Photographed May 2004 on Camp Rock Road and September 2011 near Daggett in San Bernardino County, Calif.
Related DesertUSA Pages
- How to Turn Your Smartphone into a Survival Tool
- 26 Tips for Surviving in the Desert
- Death by GPS
- 7 Smartphone Apps to Improve Your Camping Experience
- Maps Parks and More
- Desert Survival Skills
- How to Keep Ice Cold in the Desert
- Desert Rocks, Minerals & Geology Index
- Preparing an Emergency Survival Kit
- Get the Best Hotel and Motel Rates
Share this page on Facebook:
DesertUSA Newsletter -- We send articles on hiking, camping and places to explore, as well as animals, wildflower reports, plant information and much more. Sign up below or read more about the DesertUSA newsletter here. (It's Free.)