Union Bank – Banner
Patterson’s Collision Center – Banner
College Of The Canyons – Banner
Newhall Land – 2015 – Banner
Brent’s Carpet One – Banner
Facey – Banner
Beyond Harmony – Banner
AV Party Rental – Banner
Galpin Motors – Banner
Safety Town – Banner
Disneyland – Diamond Celebration – Banner
Santa Clarita Transit – Dump the Pump – Banner
Hugo Naturals – Banner
Valencia Town Center – Farmer’s Market – Banner
Samuel Dixon – Rubber Ducky – 2015 – Banner
Santa Clarita Autosound – Banner
Action Family Counseling – Banner
Academy Swim Club – Banner
Adage IT – Banner
All Americans Bail Bonds – Banner
California High Speed Rail – Palmdale – Banner
SCV Senior Center – Touch A Truck 2015 – Banner
Santa Clarita Ballet – Little Mermaid – Banner
IHOP – Banner
Nothing Bundt Cakes – Banner
Bouquet Gardens – Banner
Olive Terrace Bar and Grill – Banner
Oakmont of Santa Clarita – Banner
Gerard Cosmetics – Banner
Newhall Land – Banner
Simply Taylored – Banner
Green Convergence – Sun Power – Banner
It is forecast to be Clear at 7:00 PM PDT on June 02, 2015
Home » Santa Clarita News » Environment » SCV Outdoor Report » SCV Outdoor Report: A Malodorous Plant

SCV Outdoor Report: A Malodorous Plant

khts_scvoutdoorreport By Wendy Langhans

At least that’s what the field guide says about “Stinking Gourd“.  The reality is much worse.  Imagine a smell that’s a cross between dirty gym socks and a skunk.  No wonder the botanical name is Cucurbita foetidissima.  The Latin root foetidus gives us the English word fetid (TO STINK) and, as any musician knows, issimo means UTMOST.  This plant truly “stinks to high heaven”.

The flowers are trumpet-shaped and colorful in the summer.  But don’t let those bring bright colors trick you into approaching for a closer look.



The fetid smell comes from the leaves, which are grayish green and triangular in shape. Step on one of these bad boys and you’ll store your boots in the trunk of your car on the ride home.  There are plenty of leaves to step on too, because this perennial vine can easily sprawl out 20 feet along the ground.



In the fall, the soft-ball sized gourds ripen and turn yellow.  Native Americans have used this plant as food and as medicine to treat many kinds of ailments, everything from toothaches to arthritis.   It also serves as a source of winter food for the mammals that live in our open spaces.  Even the stinking leaves provide food for beetles and other insects.  (Obviously, they are NOT picky eaters.)



Stinking gourd is a member of the Cucurbitaceae family of plants, which means it’s related to all sorts of useful plants, from watermelons, to pumpkins.  Unfortunately for haunted house enthusiasts (and fortunately for the beetles), the leaves dry up and become crumbly in the fall.  Otherwise, they would be a great addition to a Halloween haunted house.  Can’t you just imagine the looks of horror, as people get a whiff of those leaves?


Upcoming Outdoor Events:

Saturday, November 17, 8-10 AM.  Bird walk in Towsley Canyon.  All year round, the habitats of Towsley Canyon attract a wealth of bird-life. Beginners are welcome. Bring your binoculars. 2 hours, easy walk.  For a map, go here.


You can listen to stories like this every Friday morning at 7:10 a.m. on “The Hike Report”, brought to you by your hometown radio station KHTS (AM1220) and by the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority.

For the complete MRCA hike and activity schedule and for trail maps, click here or go to www.LAMountains.com.


SCV Outdoor Report: A Malodorous Plant

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

About KHTS AM 1220

AV Party Rental – News Banner
College Of The Canyons – News Banner
Beyond Harmony – News Banner
All American Bail Bonds – News Banner
Hugo Naturals – News Banner
Academy Swim Club – News Banner
Action Family Counseling – News Banner
Action Family Counseling – Tile
Newhall Land – 2015 – Tile
Dermacure – Tile
Valencia Town Center – Farmer’s Market – Tile
Patterson’s Collision Center – Tile
Wicall’s Carpet