Three kinds of luffa gourd, or vegetable sponge, are grown in the U.S. Many luffas are mixtures of the two varieties. Their large, bright yellow flowers last the day. A miniature version is less widely grown.
– Dishrag Luffa: Luffa Cylindrica is by far the most commonly grown in the U.S. They can grow 4-inch diameter & 30-inches long.
– Ridged Luffa: Luffa Acutangular gets its name from ten ridges in its papery outer shell. This zucchini-like fruit is about 3 inches in diameter, 12 inches in length.
– Mini luffa: Also called the hedgehog gourd. About the size of a golf ball, these gourds are covered with spikes and have a very fine inner sponge.
Copyright Mary Ann Rood April 7, 1998