Monday, July 3, 2017

buffalo gourd

There are many of these gourds starting to creep down roadsides in Eldorado.  This one turns out to be particularly worthy since it has a bee gathering pollen in it.  I think it's a female flower - this plant has both male and female flowers on the same plant, but the female ones are both ridged and hairy, which this is. Buffalo gourd, cucurbita foetidissima, with, as its name would suggest, a nasty smell, and the fruit are bitter and nasty, even poisonous.  The Apache used ground dried leaves for green paint for sand painting, and to treat boils and sores on both humans and horses.  Both the Sandia and Kewa use cut gourds and leaves for insect repellent (could be useful), and Cochiti and Sandia use fresh gourd chunks for soap.  Really?  I can't imagine using something called foetidissima ...

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