Food Plants International - Plant Fact Sheets Crescentia cujete - Calabash-Tree
Edible portion: Fruit, Kernel, Nuts
A tree up to 8 m high. It can be 30 m high. It is evergreen and has an open crown. The branches are mostly horizontal. The leaves are oval but taper towards both ends. They can be 6-25 cm long by 2.5-8 cm wide. They are shiny and bright green. The leaves are clustered near the ends of the twigs. The leaf stalks can be 5-25 cm long. The small flowers grow in clusters of 2 to 5 on young wood. The flowers have a scent. The fruit is round, slightly pointed at the end, orange yellow and up to 10 cm long. The skin is thin, tough and waxy. The flesh is orange and has a musky smell. The seeds are about 2-3 cm long, dark brown and shiny. There are often 1-3 seeds per fruit.
It is native to C and S America. It is a tropical and subtropical plant. It suits the coast in the tropics and is damaged by frost. It can grow up to 1400 m in the tropics. It will grow on fairly poor soils. It does better on fertile well drained soils. It can tolerate reasonably dry periods. In Brisbane Botanical Gardens. In XTBG Yunnan. It suits hardiness zones 10-11.