Gourds are family members to squash and pumpkins and are increased similarly. But based on number, gourds have works beyond a food resource. In reality, each of those four gourd varieties — Cucurbita, Lagenaria, Luffa and Sechium — contains a distinct primary function, from just decorative to useful storage containers and containers. Prior to adding gourds to your garden, it’s important to be knowledgeable about different varieties and how they are best used.

Ornamental or Cucurbita Varieties

Ornamental gourds are winter squashes of their Cucurbita genus that are identified by their bright colours, thick and sometimes warty shells, as well as interesting shapes, like the “Turks Turban” assortment. Other varieties of gourds have their origins all over the world, but decorative gourds are thought to be indigenous to the Americas. Their Eyes have prickly leaves and stems with yellow blossoms, and fruit is usually harvested in August or September. To heal and maintain ornamental gourds, store them in a dark, dry and warm room carefully arranged to slotted trays so the gourds are not touching one another. Drying gourds must be checked daily, and any that exhibit signs of decay or mould, discarded.

Portal or Lagenaria Varieties

Gourds that belong to the Lagenaria genus can also be called “utility” gourds because for millennia they have been dried and used as bottles, birdhouses and serving dippers. Lagenaria gourds also can be eaten; nevertheless, most are bitter tasting — young bottle gourd being the exception — and thus best utilised in strongly spiced dishes like curries. Such as the ornamentals, Lagenaria gourds also grow in unusual distinctive shapes, but their shells are thin, the leaves are smooth, and their blooms are white. The ancient “bottle gourd” is the most readily recognized Lagenaria gourd around the world, with archaeological remains demonstrating its widespread use in locations like Egypt, China, New Zealand and Peru. Utility gourds are preserved in the same fashion as ornamental varieties.

Luffa Varieties

“Dishrag” gourd, since members of the Luffa varieties can also be called, is just another type of utility gourd, as its dried interior is used as a sponge. Luffa gourds, which may grow as many as 2 feet, are also edible and may be referred to as running okra. To use a Luffa gourd as a sponge, then the fruit must feel lightweight when picked, and seeds may be heard rattling inside. The luffa gourd may be dried with the skin still intact or with the skin removed. When choosing the first process, once the Luffa gourd is dry, you will have to soak the fruit for several days to remove the epidermis and then redry the sponge at sunlight.

Sechium Variety

The Sechium number of gourds is perhaps less known than the other varieties. But its fleshy fruit, called chayote, has been increased since pre-Columbian times primarily in Mexico and Central America. Unlike another gourd varieties, chayotes have a single seed, which keeps it in being dried and preserved. Instead, its principal function has been as a food source, together with the fruit, stems and leaves all of being absorbed. Sechium gourd may be boiled, used in a stew, or pureed into sauces and juices.

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