Also known as
Calabash, White-Flowered Gourd, Dudhi Plant, Sugar trough gourd, Hercule's club, Dipper, Trumpet gourd
Calabash (Lagenaria siceraria) in Seoul 2 by Hyunjung Kim (CC0)
This plant has no fragrance
More images of Bottle Gourd
Bottle Gourd Overview
Lagenaria siceraria is a vigorous annual herb with spreading or climbing stems that are brittle, thick and softly hairy. The simple, medium-sized leaves have short, soft hairs and are either egg-, kidney- or heart-shaped. Commonly known as Bottle Gourd, White-Flowered Gourd or Calabash, amongst other names. Solitary, monoecious (male and female flowers on one plant) flowers have five petals and are either cream or white, with pale yellow at the base. The fleshy, densely hairy to smooth fruit is rounded to flask-shaped or globose. Fruits are coloured green, maturing to yellowish or pale brown with the pulp drying out completely upon ripening, leaving a thick, hard, hollow shell with almost nothing inside except seeds. Many, small seeds are embedded in a spongy pulp and are compressed, with two flat facial ridges, in some variants rather irregular and wrinkled.
Common problems with Bottle Gourd
Cucumber beetle, aphids, slugs, snails, powdery mildew and squash vine borers.
How to harvest Bottle Gourd
When harvesting gourds, leave as much stem as possible. The gourds should be hardened off prior to harvesting. Cease giving water and fertilizer, and let the fruit ripen and harden. A good indication that it is ready to pick are brown, dried stems.
How to propagate Bottle Gourd
Direct sow seeds or transplant carefully 15-20 day-old seedlings.
Special features of Bottle Gourd
Attracts useful insects
Bees help with pollination
Interesting shapes that dries to a hard shell. Used to store liquid like water and milk in old days.
Other uses of Bottle Gourd
Vegetable, culinary, food
Various medicinal uses of the leaves, fruit and seeds have been recorded from various countries, e.g. as a pectoral, to destroy parasitic worms, a purgative and even as a headache remedy.
Leaves, shoots, fruits and seeds are edible when young.