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Luffa aegyptiaca

Common Name(s):
Loofah, Luffa Sponge
Categories:
Annuals, Edible Plants, Vines
Comment:

Luffah sponge gourd (also spelled loofah), is commonly used as a bath sponge, but young fruits that are less than 7 inches long can also be eatenused as a squash or fresh cucumber substitute. As common as loofas are, most people don’t realize that they are made from a plant, and that plant can be grown right here in North Carolina! These cucurbit vegetables need at least 6 hours of full sun, well-drained soil, good air circulation, and a good, sturdy trellis to thrive. Mature luffas can be harvested in the fall when the gourds are brown, light and dry, and the seeds shake inside when rattled. To make your own “loofa,” simply soak the fruit in warm water for 5-20 minutes until the skin can be easily stripped off. When the skin is off, remove the seeds and excess pulp and rinse in a 10% chlorine bleach solution to lighten the sponges.

Light:
Full
Flower:
Yellow
Exposure:
Full Sun
Edibility:
Young fruits that are less than 7 inches long can be eaten as a squash or fresh cucumber substitute.
Tags:
edible, functional plant

NCCES plant id: 2971

Luffa aegyptiaca Luffa aegyptiaca
Forest and Kim Starr, CC BY - 4.0
Luffa aegyptiaca Luffa aegyptiaca
Ivan Lian, CC BY-NC-ND - 4.0
Luffa aegyptiaca Luffa aegyptiaca
Tom Rulkens, CC BY-SA - 4.0
Luffa aegyptiaca Luffa aegyptiaca
Yu Ching Chu, CC BY - 4.0
Luffa aegyptiaca Luffa aegyptiaca
Kevin Yank, CC BY-NC - 4.0