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Saturday, April 5, 2008

BOTTLE GOURD (Container Shape)

  • Common Name: Bottle gourd
  • Vernacular Names: Calabash, Hulu
  • Scientific Name: Lagenaria siceraria
  • Specimens From: China
  • Specimens Weight: 278 gm
Bottle gourd was one of the earliest cultivated fruits, dating back at least several thousand years BC. Its origin is said to be from Africa but it is still disputable and debated on. It is grown mainly for its multi-purpose usages rather than for food consumption.

Bottle gourd comes in numerous shape and sizes, including those intentional growth. The bottle gourd photos shown above is one of the most common shape used as a container. The smaller fruit is for decorative purposes whereas the larger matured fruit is mainly used as utensil, bottle, container or pot. The huge ones can reach way over three feet in length. It is so huge and fat that it looks scary yet funny.

Its usages is so versatile that it can even be used as musical instrument, pipes or anything you can think of. Some of the shapes are so unnatural as it can be forced-grown in earthen molds or constricted by bands, to form whatever shapes the grower intended for.

Its natural color varies from light to dark green, with or without blotches, when fresh but will turn brown when it is dried. There are many white seeds scattered throughout the white flesh inside but it will be hollowed, cleaned and dried when used other than for food. The dried fruits are one of the most painted fruits around, similar to pumpkin. You will be able to find many painted ones, with all kinds of funny faces, designs and patterns.

Those bottle gourds that are cultivated for food, are usually longish and cylindrical in shape without the indented near the center. It is mainly used as a vegetable and can be quite tasteless, bitter or slightly sweet on its own.

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Anonymous said...

Just here to get my share of your fruit for the weekend - thanks for the taste :-)

Wishing you a great weekend!

Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...


At first I thought it was pear on a diet. :D OOOH, I want to hear a bottle guord played. I wonder what kind of notes come out of it?

Hugs, JJ

Ben said...

Very interesting fruit. There is in Mexico a fruit that is also converted into containers, but I really don't know its name of it is this same one. I alwaya learn something new on your blog. Thanks for sharing :)

Mom Knows Everything said...

That reminds me of the mini gourds that we use for decorations at Thanksgiving and Halloween.

Karin W. said...

It doesn't seem to exist a Swedish name for this fruit. I can't find any information in Swedish. Do they taste like squash?

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KML said...

It kind of looks like a pear - different looking than the gourds we grow here for decoration.

morinn said...

There is a vegetable like this in Mauritius. It is bigger than the one you showed and we call it "calebasses" but the flesh and seeds are the same. I ate it for lunch today. :D

Anonymous said...

Have you heard of the miracle fruit?

myonlyphoto said...

Wow what a funny shaped fruit this time, lol. Thanks for sharing all the info about it. Anna :)

Anonymous said...

I am told loofahs come from gourds. Do you know what kind of gourd that would be?

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Fruity said...

Thanks to everyone who had dropped by.

JJ, I wondered too what kind of notes can they play..

Karin, they do taste somewhat about the same. Usually tasteless..

Yes, Morinn. that's the cylindrical type. It is very popular in India.

Miraculin, Hope I can lay my hands on those miracle fruits

Yes, Julie. Loofahs are from the same gourd family. I have those which will be posting in future.

Cooking, nice recipe site but I can't read japanese and google translation always gives me lots of problem on my pc.

Anonymous said...

Splendid shape ya i did love to see it . Its nutritional value shall attract everyone .

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dave c said...

After seeing the shape of this fruit, i am convinced this is where coca-cola got their bottle design from ;-)