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The Coyote Gourd, found in the Mohave Desert grows at the lowest and driest desert elevations along the edges of washes prefering sandy places. This plant has a sprawling vine with large yellow flowers. The pulp of this melon contains one of the most bitter substances known to mankind, yet we use it to make such things as soap. The Native Americans attribute the Coyote “the trickster” with giving these gourds a bitter flavor while providing edible, nutritious seeds high in protein and fat. Animals like the Coyote, Porcupine and others still find a way to eat the seeds while the Javelina dig up and eat the tuberous flesh-like roots they sniff out even when there are no viines above the ground. Humans have been using these gourds for containers & decorative items since prehistoric times.

 

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