यह Plant अपनी भाषा में मौजूद नहीं है, में देखें: English (en),
या गूगल अनुवाद का उपयोग:  
हिन्दी भाषा (hi) | भाषा बदलें (Change Language)

Luffa operculata


Wild luffa (Luffa operculata) is an annual vining plant of the Cucurbitaceae family that includes gourds, squashes, and cucumbers. Botanists consider the origin of this plant to be from Mexico to northern and eastern parts of Brazil. It has several common names, depending on the region where similar species exist. Related species include both the more edible Luffa aegyptiaca, Luffa acutangula, and the more industrial Luffa cylindrica. All are edible, but some varieties and growth stages are tastier than others. Wild luffa is egg-shaped and has spikes; whereas vegetable varieties and their cultivars are typically longer and smoother.

का उपयोग करता है

Wild luffa and its relatives are most familiar to us as the “Luffa sponge” used for cleaning (e.g., in the kitchen or bath). Stripping away the outer spiked skin and vegetative parts leaves the dense fibrous network used as a sponge. People use wild luffa as natural medicine to treat colds and sinus infections, a practice consistent with research showing its effectiveness in animal studies.


Wild luffa is not commonly farmed, so recommendations are often based on those for related species. The FAO provides environmental ranges for Luffa species:

  • Elevation – lowlands, <500 m
  • Rainfall – 700-3000 mm (minimum-maximum range); 1200-2000 mm (optimal range). When irrigating, be attentive to plant needs, keeping foliage dry to avoid diseases.
  • Soil – pH 5.5-7.0 (optimal range); prefers fertile, well-drained soil
  • Temperature Range – 15-38°C (minimum-maximum range); 20-32°C (optimal range)
  • Day Length Sensitivity – short (<12 hours) to neutral (12-14 hours)

Wild luffa is propagated from seed. Scarification, by nicking/abrasion or soaking (12 to 24 hours) of the seeds before planting, can be done to speed up seed germination. Sow seed (about 1.5 cm deep) directly into prepared soil. Alternatively, start seeds in containers and then transplant when the first true leaves appear. Direct seeding is less laborious than transplanting, but transplanting allows for earlier planting and harvest, an important consideration for marketing and short growing seasons. Plant wild luffa at a distance of 1 m  between plants, in rows 2 m apart.  Follow fertilizer recommendations for cucumber; luffa will respond well to fertility inputs (e.g., compost or any other available fertilizer) supplying over 100 kg of nitrogen per ha.

Luffa has a growth habit like its relative, the cucumber (Cucumis sativus). The plant sends out tendrils, small spiral appendages, that help the vine climb up trellises or other plants. Vines grow up to 9 m in length, so trellis support is important for keeping fruits off the ground and less susceptible to diseases.

फसल काटने वाले और बीज उत्पादन

Harvest the fruit when brown and dry for the sponge/fiber. Mature seeds will be black and loose in the fruit. Collect the mature seeds for planting.

कीट और रोगों

Pests and diseases are similar to those affecting cucurbits, so watch for pumpkin flies (in Africa and Asia) (Dacus spp. [pParticularly Dacus ciliatus]), cucumber beetles (Chrysomelidae spp.), and squash bugs (Anasa tristis). Downy (Pseudoperonospora spp.) and powdery mildew (Erysiphaceae family of fungi), mosaic viruses (etiology undetermined), bacterial spot (Pseudomonas syringae), wilt (Erwinia trichophiles), and damping off (complex of several diseases) are all common diseases of Cucurbits. Keep foliage dry and maintain spacing to avoid diseases. Aphids (various species of suprafamily Apiphidodea) and leaf miners (Liriomyza sativae) spread many of the diseases mentioned.   

पाक कला और पोषण

Wild luffa is not commonly eaten, with more palatable varieties becoming readily available. Farmers do cultivate it, but eat it only at the young stage, mostly in Asia and less in the Americas. People eat the young fruits, shoots, and flowers, either pickled, raw, or cook as you would any other vegetable.  Luffa fruits are high in vitamins A and C, and in phosphorus and potassium.


Agriculture, Land Reform, and Rural Development (Republic of South Africa). 2023. Luffa gourd. http://www.dalrrd.gov.za/index.php/publications/16-brochures-and-production-guidelines?start=20.On the resulting page, find and click on "Luffa gourd production guideline."

Araújo, P.C., E. Ursulino Alves, L. Rodrigues de Araújo, M.M. Alves, J. G. Ferreira Medeiros. 2015. Treatments for overcoming dormancy of Luffa operulata (L.) Cogniaux seeds. Revista Caatinga 28 (2):76-83.

Chaodomrikul, S. P. Kaewsorn, P. Chulaka, and W. Chanprasert. 2016. Breaking seed dormancy in smooth loofah (Luffa cylindrica (L.) M. Roem.) using scarification and dry heat treatment. Agriculture and natural Resources 50 (2):85-88.

Doubrava, N. J.H. Blake, and A.P. Keinath. 2021. Cucumber, squash, melon, & other cucurbit diseases. Factsheet | Home and Garden Information Center no. 2206.

FAO. 2022. GAEZ ECOCROP Data Portal Luffa. Rome, Italy, https://gaez.fao.org/pages/ecocrop-find-plant. Search term “Luffa”

Joshi, B.K., HB KC, R.K. Tiwari, M. Ghale, B.R. Sthapit, and M. P. Upadyay. 2004. Descriptors for sponge gourd [Luffa cylindrica (L.) Roem.]. NARC, LIBIRD and IPGRI.

POWO.2023. Plants of the World Online. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. https://powo.science.kew.org/taxon/urn:lsid:ipni.org:names:293097-1

Silvaa, L., Olival Costa, H., Coelho de Souzac, F., Lopes, E.M.C., and S.M.Y. Ueda. 2018. Preclinical evaluation of Luffa operculata Cogn. and its main active principle in the treatment of bacterial rhinosinusitis. Brazilian Journal of Otorhinolaryngology Vol. 84(1): 82-88

Sorensen, K., J. Baker, C.C. Carter, and D. Stephan. 2003. Pests of cucurbits. (In: Insect and Related Pests of Vegetables) North Carolina State Extension, AG-295.

Xie, Y.,Liu,G., Li, Y, and K. Migliacci. 2023.  Luffa—an Asian Vegetable Emerging in Florida.  Publication HS #1285. Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

Common Names

  • अंग्रेजी
    • Wild Luffa
    • Ball luffa
  • फ्रेंच
    • papangaye
  • पुर्तुगी
    • buchinha
  • Spanish
    • paste

View Varieties