Calabash Round SEEDS, Edible bottle gourd , Asian vegetable
(Lagenaria siceraria)This round-shaped gourd Gaguava bean,opo,laukihas many uses. The immature fruit can be steamed; it must be picked before the skin hardens. Mature fruit is used mainly for kampyo by drying the gourd flesh into strips for sushi. Kampyo needs to be soaked, salted, rinsed and boiled to soften it for use.
Maturity: Approx. 100 days
Planting season: Late spring to early summer
Asian vegetable names...
- China: peou gwa, po gua, poo gua, , dudhi, hu gau, hu lu gua
- India: lauki
- Japan: kampyo, yugao
- Philippines: upo
- Thailand: buap khaus
- Vietnam: bau
The Calabash, Lagenaria siceraria (synonym Lagenaria vulgaris Ser.), also known as opo squash, bottle gourd or long melon is a vine grown for its fruit, which can either be harvested young and used as a vegetable, or harvested mature, dried, and used as a bottle, utensil, or pipe. The fresh fruit has a light green smooth skin and a white flesh. Rounder varieties are called calabash gourds. They come in a variety of shapes, they can be huge and rounded, or small and bottle shaped, or slim and serpentine, more than a metre long.
Known more in the Chinese regions and Indian subcontinents, bottle gourd has many names in local dialects such as hulu, calabash, lauki, laau, dhudhi, hyotan, hisago etc.
The calabash was one of the first cultivated plants in the world, grown not primarily for food, but for use as a water container. The bottle gourd may have been carried from Africa to Asia, Europe and the Americas in the course of human migration, or by seeds floating across the oceans inside the gourd. It has been proven to be in New World prior to the arrival of Columbus. It shares its common name with that of the calabash tree (Crescentia cujete).
Bottle gourd has been archaeologically known to be used since 11,000 to 13,000 years and has served as a popular vegetable in the Asian regions for a long time. The recent researches that have revealed its medicinal properties such as digestion improvement and weight loss are resulting into worldwide popularity of it. Cultivation: Needs a long, warm growing season. Prepare fertile, well drained soil. Sow seeds in spring/early summer after last frost in a warm, sunny location. Hill planting: Form soil into a 1-ft. diameter mound 3-4' tall. Space mounds 5-10' apart. On each mound plant 1-2 seeds. Row planting: See spacing info in chart. Keep soil moist. Fertilize as needed. Train to climb a vertical support for better air circulation, straighter fruit and ease of harvest or leave to sprawl on the ground. May need hand pollinating.