Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for December 3rd, 2011

Buffalo gourd flower

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Buffalo gourd flower; click for greater detail.

Yesterday’s picture of a drying buffalo gourd fruit, taken on November 17, came from an embankment of Capital of Texas Highway adjacent to the Arboretum in northwest Austin. I took today’s photograph on December 1 on another embankment almost within sight of the first, this time along the even busier (and I can confirm a lot noisier) US 183 freeway adjacent to the Gateway Shopping Center. Cucurbita foetidissima likes to hang out in places like these, which is where local residents are most likely to see it—assuming anyone can see much of anything when the ground outside is going by at 60 mph.

In spite of the bad smell that has earned this species the derogatory name stinking gourd, its plush yellow-orange flowers are quite attractive. For more information about Cucurbita foetidissima, including a state-clickable map showing the many places where this plant grows, you can visit the USDA website.

© 2011 Steven Schwartzman

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 3, 2011 at 4:59 AM

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