A picture of a Wax Gourd

Wax Gourd

Benincasa hispida

Also known as

Chinese Preserving-Melon, Chinese-Watermelon, Ash Gourd, Ash-Pumpkin, White Gourd, White-Pumpkin, Winter-Melon

Full Sun
Easy care
Light watering
Tender

H1a

RHS hardiness

15°C

Minimum temperature

Expected size

Height
Spread

2m

Max

6m

50cm

Min

1m

Flowering

  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has no fragrance

Wax Gourd Overview

The Wax Gourd is an annual creeper with long trailing stems bearing shallowly lobed leaves. The large leaves are rounded or kidney-shaped, 5- to 7-lobed and heart-shaped at the base. The immature fruit is fuzzy and has thick white flesh that is sweet when eaten. When mature, the green egg-shaped fruit loses its hairs and develops a waxy coating. The melon can grow up to 80 cm in length. Although referred to as a "melon," the fully grown crop is not sweet. The seeds are plentiful, oblong and flat. The large yellow flowers have a densely hairy bell-shaped calyx tube. Often used in beverages.

Common problems with Wax Gourd

Like many other in the Cucurbitaceae family, wax gourds are also susceptible to spider mites, aphids, nematodes and viruses.

How to harvest Wax Gourd

Young fruit can be harvested from 3 months after sowing. Fruit will mature and become less sweet with time.

How to propagate Wax Gourd

Seed

Sowing time - Spring/Summer; Germination time - 3 weeks; Plants will be mature in up to 5 months

Special features of Wax Gourd

Attractive fruits

Other uses of Wax Gourd

Medicinal. Culinary. Beverages.

Edible

Fruits can be eaten raw, cooked or pickled. Small fruits have white flesh that is quite sweet but loses sweetness as the fruit matures. The roots, stems and flowers are also edible.

Medicinal