Ribbed Sponge Gourd   
Foto info
Ribbed Sponge Gourd
ative Photo: Prashant Awale
Common name: Ribbed Sponge Gourd, angled loofah, Chinese okra, dish-cloth gourd, ribbed gourd • Bengali: Titotorai, Titojhinga, Titodhundul • Hindi: Jhimani, कड़वीतुरई Karviturai, कड़वीतोरी Karvitori • Kannada: Kahire, Kahi heere, Naaga daali balli • Malayalam: Athanga • Marathi: Divali, Dadudodaka, Kadudodaki, Kadushirali • Sanskrit: Ghantali, Kosataki, Ksweda, Mridangaphalika • Tamil: Peyppirkam, Akacaveni, Akacavenkkoti • Telugu: Adavibira, Chedubira, Sendubirkai
Botanical name: Luffa acutangula    Family: Cucurbitaceae (Pumpkin family)

Ridged Sponge Gourd is a tropical running vine with rounded leaves and yellow flowers. Both female and male flowers appear on the same plant. Pollination is done by bees. Leaves are angled, but little if at all lobed except on young shoots. The leaves are covered with short hairs and the fruits are ribbed and cylindrical shaped. It has ten longitudinal angular ridges and a tapered neck. Ridged luffa is very similar to L. cylindrica which lacks the ridge. The length of the fruit is one to two feet. The young fruit is used as a cooked vegetable, although some gardeners grow it for the fibrous interior. The fibrous netting is an excellent sponge but there are also industrial applications such as water filters.

Identification credit: Devendra Bharadhwaj, Gurcharan Singh & Dinesh Valke
Photographed in Mumbai.
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