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Cucurbita digitata - A. Gray

Common Name Coyote Gourd
Family Cucurbitaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards Some reports the fruit pulp is poisonous.
Habitats Found in sandy alluvial soil of washes and valleys or on dry plains and mesas; 5,000 ft (1524 m).
Range Native to northern Baja California at higher elevations, northern Sonora, Mexico, southern Arizona, and southwestern New Mexico.
Edibility Rating    (3 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care
Tender Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun
Cucurbita digitata Coyote Gourd


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Cucurbita digitata Coyote Gourd
wikimedia.org Katja Schulz

 

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Summary

Cucurbita digitata is a prostrate vine with a deep root found in hot, arid regions with low rainfall. It is one of only a few xerophyte species in the genus Cucurbita. As a Carbon Farming Solutions plant it is a good protein-oil staple Crop; each white seed is about 35% protein and 50% fat.


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Cucurbita digitata is an evergreen Perennial growing to 5 m (16ft) by 0.2 m (0ft 8in) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 10.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

No synonyms are recorded for this name.

Habitats

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Oil  Seed
Edible Uses: Oil

Carbon Farming Solutions - Staple Crop: protein-oil (The term staple crop typically refers to a food that is eaten routinely and accounts for a dominant part of people's diets in a particular region of the world) [1-1]. The fruit is bitter and generally not edible. The fruit is a dark green squash, rounded or nearly rounded, with mottling and distinct white stripes. A few animals may eat the flesh while trying to get at the seeds. Each white seed is about a centimeter long and at 35% protein and 50% fat is a nutritious food.

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.


None Known

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Other Uses

Oil

None Known

Special Uses

Carbon Farming

Cultivation details

Management: Standard  New Crop  Staple Crop: Protein-oil

Climate: subtropical. Humidity: arid to semi-arid. A hairy vining plant similar in appearance to its close relative Cucurbita palmata but the lobes of its leaves are usually more slender. It is a prostrate vine, rarely climbing, with a deep root and slender branches. These species form the only restricted xerophyte species group in the genus Cucurbita. Carbon Farming Solutions - Cultivation: new crop. Management: standard (Describes the non-destructive management systems that are used in cultivation) [1-1].

Carbon Farming

  • Management: Standard  Plants grow to their standard height. Harvest fruit, seeds, or other products. Non-Destructive management systems.
  • New Crop  Most new crops were important wild plants until recently, although some are the result of hybridization. They have been developed in the last few, decades. What they have in common is that they are currently cultivated by farmers. Examples include baobab, argan, and buffalo gourd.
  • Staple Crop: Protein-oil  (16+ percent protein, 16+ percent oil). Annuals include soybeans, peanuts, sunflower seeds. Perennials include seeds, beans, nuts, and fruits such as almond, Brazil nut, pistachio, walnut, hazel, and safou.

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Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees, and Woodland Gardening. Our new book to be released soon is Edible Shrubs.

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Propagation

Seed

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Calabacillo, Menoncillo, chichi coyota, chichicayote, meloncillo, melón de coyote, calabaza amarga, calabacilla, Finger-Leaf Gourd, fingerleaf gourd, finger-leafed gourd, coyote gourd, Bitter squash.

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Mexico, North America, USA

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

None Known

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed

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Cucumis melo flexuosusSerpent MelonAnnual Climber1.5 9-11  LMHNM42 
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Cucurbita pepoPumpkin, Field pumpkin, Ozark melon, Texas gourdAnnual Climber0.6 9-11 FLMHSNM43 
Cyclanthera brachystachyaCuchinitoAnnual3.0 9-11  LMHSM10 
Cyclanthera pedataAchocha, Caihua, Caygua, Cayua, Korila, Wild CucumberAnnual4.5 9-11 FLMHSNM341
Ecballium elateriumSquirting CucumberPerennial0.3 8-11  LMHNDM02 
Echinocystis lobataWild CucumberAnnual8.0 0-0 FLMHNM010
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