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

Will catalpa roots damage a nearby swimming pool?
July 13, 2013 - Will a catalpa tree cause problems to my swimming pool? It is 8 feet away and I cut all the branches off every fall. It then grows back to about 6 feet in diameter an makes a great garden feature but ...
view the full question and answer

Smoking mint instead of tobacco from Fairfield CA
March 23, 2013 - I realize this is a stupid question, but i am a little curious about this. Anyway I heard more people are smoking mint leaves to help cure their addiction to tobacco and i was wondering if it is s...
view the full question and answer

How to control Yellow Woodsorrel in Habiturf?
March 19, 2013 - Last year we planted Habiturf in our front lawn and prepared the ground as directed with organic compost. This year we have an infestation of low growing yellow oxalis which we believe came in with t...
view the full question and answer

Is Robinia pseudoaccia a good replacement tree for Shumard oaks in Austin TX?
February 27, 2013 - Recently two of our Shumard trees in the front of our house died. Both trees were small/medium in size having only been growing for 13-17 years. I've been reading about Black Locust trees which accor...
view the full question and answer

Ecosysystem with pecan at center from Austin
February 21, 2014 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I would like to create a native tree guild around a mature pecan. It shares its space with native shrubs and ephemerals but I would like to add a nitrogen fixing plant. I am...
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