Buffalo Gourd - Curcurbita foetidissima
Buffalo Gourd or Stinking Cucumber
This is that squash plant growing alongside highways and dirt roads all over hot places in Colorado and the desert southwest. It can take the ever-lovin' heat. In Bob Nolds book, High and Dry, he recommends this plant as a ground cover for impossibly hot and dry places. The leaves are a silvery grey, the flowers are beautiful, it attracts pollinators and it's just, really, really cool.
You can eat the squash when they are young but after they enter the gourd stage, they become bitter. The seeds can be eaten by either roasting or boiling them. They have many uses and the whole plant can be used as animal fodder. It can also be used to make soap.
Adapted to desert and semi-arid conditions. Deep taproot.