The fruit of these species is cultivated and eaten as a vegetable. The fruit must be harvested at a young stage of development to be edible. The vegetable is popular in China and southeast Asia. When the fruit is fully ripened it is very fibrous. The fully developed fruit is the source of the loofah scrubbing sponge which is used in bathrooms and kitchens as a sponge tool. Luffa are not frost-hardy, and require 150 to 200 warm days to mature. In Maharashtra, India, ghosavala (smooth Luffa) are common vegetables prepared with either crushed dried peanuts or with beans. In Northern India as well as Pakistan, turai (thoo-raee) is the common name for Luffa. Marketed as Luffa or loofah, the sponge is used like a body scrub.
USDA Zone - N/A
Season to Sow - N/A
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