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is a species of flowering plant in the squash family
The plant family Cucurbitaceae consists of various squashes, melons, and gourds, including crops such as cucumber, pumpkins, luffas, and watermelons...
known by the common names fingerleaf gourd
and bitter squash
. This wild squash plant is native to the southwestern United States and northern Mexico where it is relatively uncommon. This is a hairy vining plant with sharply palmate
In botany, leaf shape is characterised with the following terms :* Acicular : Slender and pointed, needle-like* Acuminate : Tapering to a long point...
leaves having five fingerlike lobes. It is quite similar in appearance to its close relative, the coyote gourd Cucurbita palmata
Cucurbita palmata is a species of flowering plant in the squash family known by the common names coyote melon and coyote gourd. This squash is native to the southwestern United States and far northern Mexico, where it is most common in desert regions.It is a sprawling vine with rough, stiff-haired...
, but the lobes of its leaves are usually more slender. It has curling yellow flowers up to 5 centimeters wide. The fruit is a dark green squash, rounded or nearly rounded, with mottling and distinct white stripes. The bitter fruit is very distasteful and generally not edible, although a few animals may hesitantly eat the flesh while trying to get at the seeds. Each white seed is about a centimeter long and at 35% protein and 50% fat is a nutritious food.