Return to the Southwestern Gardening Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Coyote melon/coyote gourd as a groundcover

Posted by mojave_patti 8b/Sunset 11 (My Page) on
Mon, Sep 21, 09 at 11:44

Okay, before I make a big mistake, someone let me know if I'm doing something stupid.

About two years ago, I collected a native coyote melon (Cucurbita palmata) from a huge plant (8 ft across/25 feet long) about 1/2 mile from my house. I think it was in the low spot on a small dry lake, so it was in the optimal spot for water collection.

Anyway, after the gourd dried up, I cracked it open and tried to get some of the seeds to sprout in some clay pots with native soil. Nothing happened after watering for a couple of weeks. Oh, well -- birds, rodents, ants, whatever got the seeds, I figured.

Later, I used the same pot to try to get a Luther Burbank spineless cactus to go. (I have incredibly bad luck trying to get cactus to go from pads.) I moved the pad and the dirt out into a hole in a corner of my yard and put it on the drip line, which I buried because my local rodents like to chew on the line in this part of the yard. The cactus went completely kaput. I kept meaning to pull the line and the emitter and put in a plug, but out of sight, out of mind.

So, last spring up pops this little baby coyote melon vine. I left it alone. By midsummer it was roughly a circular patch about 5 feet across. It produced flowers and melons later. Started to dry up until rodents chewed a hole in the nearby drip line and the vine started getting more water -- now it's suddenly covered with new leaves, one gourd, five more flowers coming up.

And, after tasting the liquid inside (very bitter, astringent) I smeared the liquid all over the drip line the rodents keep chewing. They haven't chewed on it since.

The rabbits/wood rats/ground squirrels/kangaroo rats that are munching on all my store bought stuff won't touch it. It is relatively attractive.

A couple of weeks ago I found another baby vine starting up next to a rosemary plant I put in last spring. This is the general area where I had placed the pots when I was trying to get the vine to go in the first place.

Are there any reasons I shouldn't try to get this to grow and use as a groundcover around my tastier plants?

Good experiences/bad experiences?

Thanks.


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Coyote melon/coyote gourd as a groundcover

You get to be the pioneer.

Your task is to write about it, and post pictures.


 o
RE: Coyote melon/coyote gourd as a groundcover

Here is a picture of the original melons/close up of the leaves.

I'll post a picture of my plant as soon as I can get out and take some pictures.

Here is a link that might be useful: Coyote melons


 o
RE: Coyote melon/coyote gourd as a groundcover

All the wild melons I've seen go to sleep in the winter. If deciduous isn't a problem, go to it! : [)


 o
RE: Coyote melon/coyote gourd as a groundcover

Isn't the plant 'odiferous' ?!! The wild ones around here are!Like my sacred datura plant that comes back year after year, your coyote melons now may do the same now they have selected their spot!


 o
RE: Coyote melon/coyote gourd as a groundcover

Deciduous isn't a problem.

I had read about the foul odor. Haven't yet experienced it. Both of my vines are out in the open and it's a rare day we don't have wind.

Maybe I found a mutant?


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Southwestern Gardening Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here