FoI
Sponge Gourd   
Foto info
Sponge Gourd
ative palmate Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Sponge Gourd, Loofah, Smooth luffa • Hindi: घिया तोरई Ghia torai • Marathi: पालो Palo • Telugu: Neyangnattakolu • Assamese: Bhatkakrel, Aibhi • Kannada: Thuppada Heere
Botanical name: Luffa aegyptiaca    Family: Cucurbitaceae (Pumpkin family)
Synonyms: Cucurbita luffa, Luffa cylindrica, Luffa pentandra, Momordica cylindrica

Sponge Gourd is a rampant, fast growing annual vine that produces pretty yellow flowers and a popular vegetable as fruit that are edible when immature and used as back scrubbers or sponges when fully mature. The vine can get more than 30 ft long and scrambles over anything in its path. The large leaves are lobed and have silvery patches on the topsides. The flowers are showy and prominent, about 2-3 in across with five petals. The fruits are green, up to 24 in long and 3 in in diameter; they are cylindrical and smooth, and shaped like a club, slighter wider on one end. Small fruits look like okra or little cucumbers. On older fruits, the outer skin eventually dries and turns brown and papery

Photographed in Delhi.

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