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Zone:  7+ (grow as Annual here; produces sponges when "squash" is yellow-mature 1st season; peel after dry)

Height:  Vine grows to 15m (here, 5m) (16ft)

Width:  30cm (1ft)

Foliage:  Wide, squash-type leaf

Flower:  Yellow, squash-type

Fruit:  Also squash-like, long & narrow; harvest when very ripe (yellow) and beginning to dry; peel off dry flesh, dump out seeds from inside cavities, and you have a luffa sponge!

Light:  Full sun

Moisture:  Ample, regular

Soil:  Good, moderately rich

Garden location:   Back of garden with tall support to climb

Luffa aegyptiaca (Luffa or Loofah sponge)

  • Luffa is eaten when young, like any squash, and is astringent, a pain-killing herb that controls bleeding, promotes healing, improves circulation and milk flow.  It can be applied externally to treat shingles.