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.