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Luffa aegyptiaca

(Climbing Okra)


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Dried fibrous interior of the elongated fruit is dried and used as a sponge (loofah). Used as a fribrous scrubbing device. This vine bears a fruit resemblance of the cucumber, and young ones can be eaten .However, there no record of the fruit being eaten in Grenada. When the fruit is dried the seeds are removed and the fiber is used for washing pots and pans by chefs and house wives. Those seeds are also used for making necklaces.

Common Names

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Click on the language to view common names.

Common Names in Arabic:

Lûf, Luff

Common Names in Bengali, Bangla:


Common Names in Chinese:

Shui Gua (Cantonese Shui Kwa), Si Gua, Sze Kwa, Tian Luo Gua, Tian Si Gua

Common Names in Danish:

Luffa, Vegetabilsk Svamp

Common Names in Dutch:

Loefahspons, Loofah, Plantaardige Spons, Sponskomkommer

Common Names in English:

Climbing Okra, Dish-Cloth Gourd, Dishcloth Gourd, Dishrag Gourd, Loofa, Loofah, Luffa, Rag Gourd, Smooth Loofah, Smooth Luffa, Sponge Gourd, Sponge Luffa, Vegetable Sponge, Vegetable-Sponge

Common Names in Estonian:

Ruljas Käsnkõrvits

Common Names in French:

Courge Cylindrique De Chine, Courge Torchon, Eponge Végétale, Luffa D´egypte, Pétole, Pétole (Mauritius)

Common Names in German:

ägyptische Schwammkürbis, Schwammgurke, Schwammkürbis, Schwammkürbis

Common Names in Hindi:

Dhundal, Ghiya Tori, Jhinga, Meethi Torai, Mozhuku Peerkankai, Nenua, Turai, घेवड़ा, नेनुवा, िघया तोरी

Common Names in Hungarian:


Common Names in Indonesian:


Common Names in Italian:

Luffa, Luffa D´egitto, Petola, Spugna Vegetale

Common Names in Japanese:

Hechima, Hohima, Naga Ito-Uri

Common Names in Khmer:

Ronôông Muul

Common Names in Laotian:

Bwàp Khôm

Common Names in Malay:

Belustru (Indonesia), Blustru (Indonesia), Ketola Manis, Petola Buntal, Petola Manis

Common Names in Marathi (Marāṭhī):


Common Names in Nepalese:

Ghiu Toriya, Palo

Common Names in Pakistan:

Ghia Tori

Common Names in Portuguese:

Bucha, Esponja-Vegetal

Common Names in Russian:

Ljufa, люфа, Люффа египетская

Common Names in Sinhalese:


Common Names in Spanish:

Esponja, Esponja Vegetal, Estropajo, Guatemala), Lufa, Paste, Pepino Para Paste (El Salvador

Common Names in Sundanese:


Common Names in Tagalog:


Common Names in Thai:

Buap Hom (Boap Hom, Buap Klom, Buop Horm)

Common Names in Turkish:


Common Names in Vietnamese:

Mướp hương


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Family Cucurbitaceae

The Cucurbitaceae are mostly prostrate or climbing herbaceous annuals comprising about 90 genera and 700 species that are further characterized by commonly having 5-angled stems and coiled tendrils . The leaves are alternate and usually palmately 5-lobed or divided ; stipules are absent. The flowers are actinomorphic and nearly always unisexual . The perianth has a short to prolonged epigynous zone that bears a calyx of 3-6 segments or lobes and 3-6 petals or more frequently a 3-6-lobed sympetalous corolla. The androecium is highly variable, consisting of basically 5 distinct to completely connate stamens that frequently are twisted, folded or reduced in number. The gynoecium consists of a single compound pistil of 2-5 carpels, generally with one style and as many style branches or major stigma lobes as carpels, and an inferior ovary with one locule and usually numerous ovules on 2-5 parietal placentae or 3 locules with numerous ovules on axile placentae. The fruit is a type of berry called a pepo . -- Gerald Carr.

Genus Luffa

See loofa .

Physical Description

Species Luffa aegyptiaca

Leaves 5-7 lobed , 15-20cm long, pale green, sandpapery; tendrils dividing into 3. Fruits without ridges ; seeds winged . L. acutangula has sharply 10-ribbed fruits and winfless seeds.

Flowers: Bloom Period: June. • Flower Color: yellow


Size: 4-6' tall.


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Culture: Space 12-15" apart.

Soil: Minimum pH: 5.6 • Maximum pH: 7.5

Sunlight: Sun Exposure: Full Sun .


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Luffa cylindrica (L.) M. Roemer


Name Status: Accepted Name .

Last scrutiny: 15-Mar-2000

Similar Species

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Members of the genus Luffa

ZipcodeZoo has pages for 31 species, subspecies, varieties, forms, and cultivars in this genus:

L. acutangula (Angled Loofah) · L. acutangula 'Miriam' (Ridge Gourd) · L. acutangula 'Nagar' (Ridge Gourd) · L. acutangula 'Ping-Ann' (Ridge Gourd) · L. acutangula 'Ridge King' (Ridge Gourd) · L. acutangula 'Ridge Long' (Ridge Gourd) · L. acutangula 'Ridge Queen' (Ridge Gourd) · L. aegyptiaca (Climbing Okra) · L. cylindrica 'Bright Splendour' (Sponge Gourd) · L. cylindrica 'Canton Pride' (Chinese Okra) · L. cylindrica 'Cowboy' (Chinese Okra) · L. cylindrica 'Cylinder No.3' (Chinese Okra) · L. cylindrica 'Diamond Disk' (Chinese Okra) · L. cylindrica 'Diamond Rainbow' (Chinese Okra) · L. cylindrica 'Emerald' (Sponge Gourd) · L. cylindrica 'Good Diamond' (Chinese Okra) · L. cylindrica 'Green Splendour' (Sponge Gourd) · L. cylindrica 'Huay Kaew' (Chinese Okra) · L. cylindrica 'Legacy' (Chinese Okra) · L. cylindrica 'Lela' (Chinese Okra) · L. cylindrica 'Naga' (Chinese Okra) · L. cylindrica 'San-C' (Chinese Okra) · L. cylindrica 'Seven Happiness' (Chinese Okra) · L. cylindrica 'Seven Star' (Chinese Okra) · L. cylindrica 'Shimmery' (Chinese Okra) · L. cylindrica 'Snaky' (Chinese Okra) · L. cylindrica 'Special Long' (Chinese Okra) · L. cylindrica 'Tri-Leaf' (Chinese Okra) · L. cylindrica 'Visetchaichan' (Chinese Okra) · L. cylindrica 'Yalu' (Chinese Okra) · L. operculata (Luffa)

More Info

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Further Reading

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Data Sources

Accessed through GBIF Data Portal February 28, 2008:


Last Revised: 2014-12-02