|Gourd shape ranges from tear drop to short handled dipper type. Used to make traditional rattles for the Deer Dance. Considered the earliest known domesticated plant. Dried gourds are used for ladles, rattles, drinking canteens and musical instruments. They can be carved, wood burned, and painted.
An annual gourd, which will cross pollinate within the genus. Must be isolated if a specific shape is required. Fast growing vines can reach 10 to 15 feet long, and trellising is best to keep the gourds off the ground. Can be grown on a fence or against a wall. Seeds should be sown indoors in short season areas, or outdoors when the ground becomes warm. Presoak the seeds in warm water for better germination. Plant or thin seedlings to 2 feet apart.
White flowers bloom at night and are pollinated by moths and bees. Let the fruits mature on the vine, until the stem turns brown and the gourd is lightweight, or until frost. The drying process can be continued inside, drill holes to remove the seeds. When thoroughly dry they can be shellaced for preservation.