So as I reported on my Facebook Page, I received a package of seeds yesterday…my first package of seeds for the 2013 growing season. I searched high and low for these seeds and finally found a supplier of these seeds, an heirloom variety and am excited to plant them in my garden this spring!
So what kind of seeds did I buy? We all know you can grow just about everything in the garden – fruits, vegetables, herbs, even sweeteners for your coffee but did you know you can grow a sponge?
We commonly know the “looffah” as a bath sponge – the ones that come attached to a mitt or a handle to scrub your back while you are in the shower. Now you may think that those “loofahs” come from the sea, however you may be shocked to learn that they are in fact a vegetable that you can grow in your own yard!
The Luffa plant are a type of Gourd and are part of the Cucumber (Cucurbitaceae) family. These vegetables do extremely well in a warm climate where they receive a minimum of 150 frost free days. When young, the Luffa fruit is edible however when it is left to mature it becomes quite fibrous and takes on the form of the Luffa sponge we all know.
The Luffa grows as a vine, reaching upwards of 10’ tall while supported. The blooms are large and yellow, resembling the blooms on a Zucchini or Pumpkin plant. The blooms attract many species of butterflies, moths and bees to the plant making it a great addition to a butterfly garden!
So with any luck, by mid-summer I will have a nice lush vine and some Luffa fruit growing!
Have any of you ever grown a Luffa or any other “off” fruit or veggie? Share your experiences in the comments!
References – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luffa