Finger-leaf Gourd

Cucurbita digitata

Leaf of Cucurbita digitata photo © by Michael Plagens

Wickenburg Mts., Yavapai Co., Arizona. September 2008.

Leaf of Cucurbita digitata photo © by Michael Plagens

VINE: Herbaceous vine which may ascend into trees or shrubs or else trail along the ground with branched tendrils latching onto supports. Stems may reach several meters in length.

LEAVES: Leaves are narrowly divided into five or so palmately arranged lobes. The variegated paler centers are attractive.

RANGE: Sonoran Desert in Arizona and Mexico mostly adjacent to washes and riparian habitats. Also at roadsides which get extra runoff from the pavement. Generally not common and then visible only after summer rains when most of growth and flowering occurs.

FRUIT: A spherical to oblong gourd. Paler variegated stripes on darker green as the gourd matures to yellow-brown.

FLOWERS: Tubular flowers open briefly with five-pointed corolla and yellow-brown color. Separate male and female flowers are borne on the same vine. Late summer is flowering period.

UNARMED. Hairs on stems and calyces are stiff and may be a little prickly to the touch.

Flower of Cucurbita digitata photo © by Michael Plagens

Cucurbitaceae -- Gourd Family

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More Information:

Sonoran Desert Field Guide
Sonoran Desert Places
Sonoran Desert Naturalist Home Page


Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 30 Oct. 2008,
updated 21 Sept. 2016.