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Luffa Sponge Luffa aegyptiaca

Other Common Name(s):

Description

Luffah sponge gourd (also spelled loofah), is commonly used as a bath sponge, but young fruits that are less than 7 inches long and green can be eaten as 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 tan, 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.

Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#annual#summer#trellis#climbing vines#vine#edible garden#loofah sponge#gourd
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#annual#summer#trellis#climbing vines#vine#edible garden#loofah sponge#gourd
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Luffa
    Species:
    aegyptiaca
    Family:
    Cucurbitaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    The loofah has been used as an astringent, pain-killer, to control bleeding, promote healing, improve circulation and milk flow. The sponge is used to clean the skin.
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Indian Subcontinent
    Play Value:
    Edible fruit
    Climbing Method:
    Tendrils
    Edibility:
    Young fruits that are less than 7 inches long can be eaten as squash or fresh cucumber substitute. Seeds can be roasted and eaten.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Annual
    Edible
    Vine
    Habit/Form:
    Climbing
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Texture:
    Coarse
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Piedmont
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Good Dried
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Fruit Length:
    > 3 inches
    Fruit Description:
    Oblong fruits can be 7-12 inches long
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Head
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Cup
    Flower Size:
    3-6 inches
    Flower Description:
    4-inch yellow flowers during the summer.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Rough
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Leaf Shape:
    Orbicular
    Leaf Margin:
    Lobed
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Description:
    10-inch green lobed leaves with short white hairs on upper and lower surfaces.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Theme:
    Edible Garden
    Attracts:
    Bees