harvest photo: Phillip Schmandt
form photo: b. inxee
A vegetable with which you may do the dishes, exfoliate your toes, or (according to Wikipedia) treat jaundice! Bring this cucumber relative home to your vegetable garden for the sheer fun of it! Best in exceptionally warm areas, but if you get 4 months warm weather you stand a good chance of getting a decent crop. If picked young, Luffa can be cooked & eaten like zucchini, but if you want a sponge, you should wait until the (2’ or more long!) fruits are completely dry on the vine before harvesting. The skin should peel easily from the spongy innards. Plant in rich, well drained soil. Space plants 5-6’ apart. You Luffa would like (but doesn’t absolutely need) a supportive trellis or fence. 110-140 days.