Available only in the Spring!
The Loofah gourd plant (Luffa aegyptiaca) is an annual fruiting vine plant that will scrub what you thought you knew about plant powers. The vine produces dark, ornamental, squash-like leaves, fluttering yellow blossoms, and — the main event — loads of fruit. The young gourds are totally edible and can be eaten raw, cooked, or even pickled when they’re still quite small. They’re very popular in the Caribbean, where they are eaten like cucumbers.
However, patience is certainly rewarded when you play the waiting game with the loofah plant. You’ll need to wait for the large gourds to mature and dry on the vine. But once dry, the skin will peel away perfectly. The gourd can then be dried for a day or two in the sun to harden. Slice into pieces or use whole. And voila! You have a perfect bathing or cleaning loofah! One plant can yield enough sponges for a lifetime. That’s a lotta Loofahs! But you can bask in the glow of a job well done, with plenty of leftovers to spare for thoughtful and useful gifts.
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