En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Friday - August 23, 2013

From: San Diego, CA
Region: California
Topic: Problem Plants
Title: Eradicating Cucurbita foetidissima (wild gourd) in California
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I live in San Diego County where the wild gourd/stink gourd roams freely and quickly. Any suggestions on how to eradicate. It is extremely invasive and nothing has worked! Thank you,

ANSWER:

Cucurbita foetidissima (Stinking gourd) can cover a lot of ground just from one plant.  How much stinking gourd are we talking about?  Acres and acres?  I did an internet search to see if I could find anyone else who had the problem of invasive stinking gourd, but didn't have much luck.   I don't know what methods you have tried, but here is what I would try if I had the problem.   Find the spot where the vines come out of the ground.  Cut off all the runners from that origin, then paint the stumps with an appropriate herbicide.   Check with a local nursery to find an herbicide that would be most effective.  One of the foam, sponge-like paintbrushes would be best to use for painting the stump.  It is important to paint the stumps as soon as you have cut the vine runners off them.  Plant cells often quickly seal damaged areas and this could result iin less herbicide entering the root system.  Simply spraying the vines with herbicide will not be as effective and could result in killing nearby desirable plants.  Be sure to dispose of gourds containing seeds so that the seeds will not have a chance to germinate (e.g., put them in a plastic bag and place in the trash).  Read the instructions and safety warnings on the herbicide label carefully and follow them to protect yourself and the environment.  Good luck!

 

More Problem Plants Questions

Removal of thistles from Columbus TX
May 20, 2014 - I am sorry if you have an answer in FAQs but I could not find it. We recently cleared property near Columbus Texas of many cedars (ash junipers). This spring we experienced a profusion of thistle -...
view the full question and answer

Invasive native blackeyed susans from Warren OH
August 07, 2013 - In our demo garden we master gardeners in NE Ohio have been unable to get rid of black-eyed susans which have, like the other person, prevented or "killed" the other perennial plants. They are spre...
view the full question and answer

Reducing Allergens in Yards and Gardens
January 31, 2012 - What are some allergen-free native plants to Central Texas that thrive in the soil and can survive in the weather?
view the full question and answer

Identification of stinging plant in Central Texas
July 02, 2012 - I live on 15 acres on Nameless Road. When walking on property, occasionally my leg/ankle brushes against some plant that "stings" me. Like little needles in my skin. Doesn't last long, but becau...
view the full question and answer

How to get rid of Japanese knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum)
July 28, 2008 - We have an enormous stand of japanese polygonum that we are trying to get rid of. What soil type is the most inhospitable to this aggressive and highly invasive species? Were thinking of planting so...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center