North Carolina Gourd Society

Basic Type of Gourds


Hardshells are the gourds of history, used as containers, tools and musical instruments from the dawn of history right up through today. Their hard, durable shells gave them many a uses. They were the homegrown household china, crystal and Tupperware of our cave-dwelling ancestors.


Ornamentals have thinner shells. They are the small, brightly colored gourds that appear on roadside stands and on supermarket produce counters in the fall.


Luffa , the sponge gourd, is our bathtub friend. Many people think these are sponges from the sea, but these vegetable sponges grow on yellow-flowered vines very much like cucumbers.

Gourds in General

Gourds grow around the world--very much like squashes and pumpkins. Growing is easy. What puzzles most new growers is how to dry, or cure, their crops. Discover the secret to curing the gourds you grow here.

Gourds have been crafted many ways to make useful and ornamental items. You can see gourds made into everything from musical instruments to flower pots--at the annual North Carolina Gourd Arts & Crafts Festival in Raleigh, N.C., held each November. The Festival features many excellent gourd crafting workshops for everyone from beginner gourd enthusiasts all the way through experienced gourd heads.

copyright Mary Ann Rood, April 7, 1998