These annual vegetable crops are vining, climbing, or bushy succulent plants. The fruits are grown for eating, oil processing, or containers. Fruits are harvested before seed maturation for fresh consumption. Varieties used for oil are harvested when the fruits are fully mature and the vine stem has dried. Gourds used for containers must dry on the vine until the seeds are loose and rattle inside. Some varieties provide edible flowers and young leaves.


  1. Bottle Gourd Lagenaria siceraria

    Bottle Gourd, Bushel Gourd, Calabash Gourd, Birdhouse Gourd

    Bottle Gourds are typically grown for non-food use. The gourd is allowed to reach its full size on the plant and turned into a valuable container for grains or liquids. Mature fruits contain an extremely hard and waterproof rind when dried. The growing gourd may be constricted with bands to form...
  2. Wax Gourd Benincasa hispida

    Wax Gourd, Winter Gourd, White Gourd, Tallow Gourd, Chinese Wintermelon, Chinese Preserving Melon, Petha, Kondol

    Wax gourds are vining plants that produce large, round wax-covered fruits. Originally from Southeast Asia, the species is grown in many lowland tropical environments up to 1,300 m in elevation. The long vines may be trained along trellises or up buildings where they produce fruit. Fruits are...
  3. Tropical Pumpkin Cucurbita moschata

    Tropical Pumpkin, Calabaza, Winter Squash

    The Tropical Pumpkin originated in tropical South or Central America, possibly Peru or Mexico, and is now widely distributed throughout the tropics. Tropicalpumpkins are very well adapted to hot, humid conditions and the ripe fruits can be stored for months or even a year under dry well...
  4. Caigua Cyclanthera pedata

    Stuffing Cucumber, Slipper Gourd, Slipper Gourd, Caihua, Achoccha, Korila

    Caigua isan Andean fruit that grows on a climbing vine similar to cucumbers. The mature fruit is hollow and is often stuffed for cooking. The immature fruits and young shoots are eaten raw and cooked.
  5. Buffalo Gourd Cucurbita foetidissima

    Buffalo Gourd

    The buffalo gourd is native to Southwestern North America
  6. Summer Squash Cucurbita pepo

    Summer Squash

    Summer Squashes are distinctive from all other squashes because they are eaten when they are immature. They grow on either vines or bushes with large leaves that are hairy underneath. They have smooth, edible skin, flesh that varies from light to dark green or yellow, and seeds that are soft and...
  7. Seminole Pumpkin Cucurbita moschata

    Seminole Pumpkin

    Seminole pumpkins are a landrace of Cucurbita moschata that developed in Florida. Naturalists record the conspicuous presence of Seminole Pumpkin fruits hanging from tree limbs during their travels to Florida already in the 18th century. Seminole pumpkins are very well adapted to hot, humid...
  8. Tahitian Butternut Cucurbita moschata

    Butternut, Tahitian Butternut

    This winter squash has been cultivated in tropical and subtropical areas of the Americas since Pre-Colombian times. Evidence of its use has been found in archeological diggings. It is a very old variety not often available through seed companies.
  9. Smooth Luffa Luffa cylindrica

    Smooth Luffa, Sponge Gourd, Dishcloth Gourd, Vine Okra

    Luffas are vining annual plants that produce fruits for food and the luffa sponge. The fruits of Smooth Luffa are preferred for luffa sponges. Angled luffa, C. acutangula, is the preferred species for edible fruit.
  10. Snake Gourd Trichosanthes cucumerina (syn. T. anguina)

    Snake Gourd, Tomato Gourd, Chachera, Chichinga, Padwal, Potlakaya, Pakupis, Tomato Elejo

    A vining annual vegetable crop. The plant produces a wavy cucumber-like fruit that is harvested immature and cooked like a squash. This crop is well suited to growth in the humid lowland tropics. The delicate vines need a trellis. The mature fruit turns orange or red when ripe and can be used in...
  11. Italian Edible Gourd/Cucuzzi Lagenaria siceraria

    Italian Edible Gourd, Cucuzzi, Italian Edible Gourd, Italian Squash, Guinea Bean, New Guinea Bean, Suzza Melon, Tasmania Bean, Zucca

    This ItalianEdible Gourd, long cultivated in Italy, is believed to have its origin in India. The parent species, the Bottle Gourd, Lagenaria siceraria, is believed to have its origin in Africa.
  12. Angled Luffa Luffa acutangula

    Angled Luffa, Ridged Loofah, Chinese Okra

    Luffas are vining annual plants that produce fruits for food and the luffa sponge. The young fruits of Angled Luffa are edible raw or cooked. Although two species produce a fibrous skeleton in the mature fruit, Smooth Luffa (Luffa cylindrica) is the preferred species for the luffa sponge. This...
  13. Gac Momordica cochinchinensis

    Gac, Spiny Bitter Cucumber, Sweet Gourd, Giant Spine Gourd, Cochinchin Gourd

    Gac is a woody, perennial plant with vining stems reaching 6 m or more in length. Growing from tuberous roots, the vines are often seen climbing on fences or into the tops of trees. Its large (10-15 cm wide), dark green leaves have three to five lobes. Gac is dioecious, meaning that some plants...
  14. Cushaw Pumpkin Cucurbita argyrosperma

    Cushaw Pumpkin

    Cushaw pumpkins are a herbaceous, vining, winter squash grown for the edible flesh and seeds. Flowers and tender shoots are also edible. The seeds are high in oil and protein and can be eaten roasted or ground up for an ingredient in sauces. The flesh is eaten as a vegetable and can be used in...
  15. Ivy Gourd Coccinia grandis

    Scarlet Gourd