Saturday, August 27, 2011

Calabazilla - a native edible

Off India Street, off Riverview Terrace, along the old Red Car Line is an old dirt road that leads to a meadow. Along the road is this wonderful plant with big silvery leaves, yellow squash flowers buzzing with bees, and shiny green fruit.

We took a fruit and came home. After a brief search I found it online - my favorite name for it is calabazilla, but the Latin name is Cucurbita foetidissima. Other names are stinking goard and buffalo goard. It doesn't smell bad, though - it has a kind of cucumber smell about it - actually pleasant.

It is edible, and we'll try to cook it tonight - cook it like a squash. As it ages it gets bitter and inedible. When dry it's used in the same manner as a gourd. It's a native California plant and has a long history as a soap and a medicine.

More later.


  1. Our new soap! How exciting--see that stuff all over the place.

  2. According to a native plants site, the "stink" comes from the crushed leaves, not the fruit.