Baffled by the Gourds...

trc225July 20, 2010

Five years ago, I bought some mini gourd seeds online and grew them in my garden. They were your normal looking gourd plant, that grew 2" hard-shelled gourds. Some plants produced round gourds, some produced bottle shaped gourds. All of the gourds were typical, green, hard-shelled gourds.

That was the last time I grew anything in my garden until this year. While I was preparing my garden this year, I came across one of the mini's from 5 years ago. It broke open and I turned it under and a few weeks later, little gourd seedlings started popping up. So I planted 6 of them...and I'm completely baffled by these plants.

They are some mutant mix of a squash plant and a gourd plant. The stems on the leaves are long, like a squash. The leaves are shaped like a squash. The stems and vines are covered in little spikes, like a squash. The base of the vine (where it comes out of the ground) is dark green, like a squash. BUT it's vining like a gourd. And it's producing small gourds. BUT these gourds are nothing like the ones I grew 5 years ago. They are different sizes, different shapes (some bottle shaped, some squash shaped), different colors (some green, some yellow), and some even have bumps like an ornamental gourds. But they are all hard, like a gourd.

Has anyone ever experienced this before? Is this just the result of some crazy cross polination? Maybe with a squash? Or an ornamental gourd? I'm truley baffled by this whole thing. :)

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I have to add one more thing. The blooms on the gourds that I grew 5 years ago were yellow and bloomed during the day. I guess that is supposed to make them an ornamental gourd? But I was able to dry the gourds out and I still have them.

The blooms this year are also yellow and day-blooming.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 2:59PM
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Most of the small ornamental gourds are C. pepo. Same species as summer squash, zucchini, some winter squash and pumpkins they will cross readily. What are usually called hard shell gourds are Lagenaria siceraria, which have white blossoms. These do not cross with squash.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 3:56PM
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