New Vegetables This Year

Angled Gourd and Luffa

I grew Angled gourd (Luffa acutangula) and Sponge gourd or Luffa (Luffa aegyptiaca) for the first time this year.  Why?  Out of curiosity really.  I just wanted to know that I could grow them in this climate successfully.  I also miss the sweet taste of the gourds.

The seeds germinated very well and the entwined vines cover the whole homemade trellis and stretched to the vegetable garden fence.  They have taken forever to flower.  The Angled gourd flowered first but only with male flowers, the one without a small gourd attached at the base of the flower.   The female flowers appeared much later.  Once they begin production, they produce a lot of gourds.  Only four of them have grown to full size so far but there are plenty of small gourds on the vine.

The Sponge gourds are not in such great shape: both male and female flower buds appeared but have stayed in their ‘bud’ stage for weeks.  They started to grow again and blossomed last week.   But it’s too late at this point since it’s too cold for the gourd to mature.

I may not have many full size gourds or dry Luffa to scrub my body with but there is nothing wasted.  Young gourds and flowers of both types can be eaten the same way you would with squash.   Stir-fried with fresh garlic and oyster sauce is great.  The young shoots can be eaten the same way.

I’m still debating whether I should try again next year.

Male flower
Male flower
Female flower of the Angled gourd with a small gourd attached at the base
Female flower of the Angled gourd with a small gourd attached at the base
Angled gourd and Sponge luffa entwine on the same trellis
Angled gourd and Sponge luffa entwine on the same trellis
Angled gourd shoots and flower buds can be eaten
Angled gourd shoots and flower buds can be eaten
Mature Angled gourd, with angles all around, hence the name
Mature Angled gourd, with angles all around, hence the name
Luffa flower bud can be eaten at this stage as well
Luffa flower bud can be eaten at this stage as well
Finally it blossomed
Finally it blossomed

2 thoughts on “New Vegetables This Year

Add yours

    1. The culprit making your young shoots disappear are likely beetles: Mexican bean beetles, cucumber beetles or Japanese beetles. Stink bugs will suck the juice from your fruit causing the fruit to turn yellow at the stem and fall off. I usually pick these pests off where the birds may have missed any. The Mexican bean beetles are much easier to pick off when they are in their larval form.

      I know this may not be much help for you as I don’t have any pesticide to recommend. I avoid using chemicals as I don’t think it’s healthy.

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