Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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

Elimination of nutgrass from native flower bed
October 14, 2007 - Nutgrass!*#!* My new bed in NE Austin wraps around a hot sunny SW street corner. Grass wouldn't grow there [I wouldn't water it.] I removed the turf [mostly stickers] to a depth of about 4", carefu...
view the full question and answer

Elimination of non-native, invasive King Ranch bluestem in lawn
June 06, 2006 - How can I eliminate an annual infestation of king ranch bluestem in my bermuda lawn? Thanks.
view the full question and answer

Controlling KR Bluestem
February 11, 2016 - How can I control KR Bluestem in my 55 acre coastal bermuda hayfield? The field has a Farm Road along one side planted in KR, and now the hayfield is about 25 - 30% KR. Summer burn is fairly dangerous...
view the full question and answer

Eliminating and replacing Tradescantia species
July 03, 2013 - Dear Mr. Smarty Pants, I need advice. I recently figured out my 10 month old dog is highly allergic to Tradescantia sp, commonly known as the Spiderworts, and "Wandering Jew" which covers about h...
view the full question and answer

Killing oak sprouts from El Paso TX
August 16, 2011 - I want to know how to kill oak root sprouts and seedlings. Very dense and out-of-control in huge area of front lawn. I had tree cut down and I still cannot get rid of them. They're only getting wors...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.