What other plant gives you hardly any hassle,
grows quickly even in poor soil, and rewards you with first a beautiful
yellow flower, then from the flower grows a loofah gourd that you can
either eat (when luffa
is still small and green you
can chop it, fry it; tastes like fried okra-for those with
food allergies, please consult your doctor before consuming), or wait
it turn brown on the vine, peel it, and then you get a great loofah
That would be the Luffa! We have four
different luffas to choose from . Cucumis
Dipsaceus, commonly known as The Hedgehog gourd, is a
different specimen indeed. The Luffa
Cylindrica (commonly known as the washrag
gourd) and the Harita (Indian
sponge hybrid), and the Luffa
Acutangula (known as the angled luffa gourd)
are members of the Cucurbitaceae ( Gourd ) family.
The Loofah is spelled several different ways, i.e., Lofah, Luffa or
Lufa. These are the only plants known that can be
raised and used as a sponge. The sponges are very versatile in that
they can be used for bathing, washing dishes or scrubbing. The Loofah
is widely used for bathing to invigorate the skin as well as gift
giving and crafts.
BY POPULAR DEMAND !!
Hedgehog gourd is a different luffa indeed. Its small body,
tapered ends, and spikes make it a formidable looking specimen, but
inside you will find a very fine fibered inner sponge. A very
interesting conversation piece, and will quickly become a favorite of
The Washrag gourd is a very fast growing annual that produces
vines up to twelve feet or more. I have seen them grow over 20 ft. high
in trees and produce dozens of gourds per plant.
gourd is the most common gourd grown for commerical luffas. Heavy crops
of cyndrical 9-12 inch long light green smooth luffas.
Angled gourd plant is close to the washrag gourd in size, but the
angled gourds are thinner, and tapered. Very elegant.
When fully matured, you can peel off the dried and
crisp outer shell to expose the fibrous sponge. To clean your Loofah
you wash it in clean water and then soak it in a solution of bleach and
water and allow to dry in the sun. Loofah sponges will last a long time
if washed and allowed to dry after each use. Just remember, luffas need
lots of water, and space to grow !
member of our family is called the Cucuzzi gourd.
This Italian EDIBLE GOURD (Lagenaria Siceraria) is a versatile item to
have in the kitchen- harvest them when they are 8-10 inches,
you can use them like squash ! Or, let them grow (I have seen
some get to almost 40 inches!), let them dry, and you can use them in
arts and craft projects !