Luffa Acutangula - Ribbed Luffa
Native to tropical South Asia, this luffa is widely used both for cuisine and medicinal purposes. Known commonly by many names such as the sponge gourd, ribbed loofah or strainer vine.
A climbing vine reaching between 5-10m in length, with alternate lobed leaves around 20cm long, slightly hairy on the upper surface. Flowers are yellow, around 6cm in diameter.
The fruits can reach up to 30cm long, ribbed. Immature fruits are used as a vegetable, particularly in Indian cuisine, where it is enjoyed for its mildly bitter flavour. Fruits are also widely used in traditional Indian medicine to treat a variety of health conditions such as diabetes, leprosy and jaundice.
Mature fruits will turn brown on the vine and the skin can then be separated from the fibrous skeleton within, which can then be used as a natural sponge.
Enjoys a well draining soil mixture, and full sun to thrive.
Frost tender and should not be kept below 15°C.