Ash gourd (or wax gourd), is related to the cucumber. The large fuits are eaten as a vegetable.
Courge à la cire
Pastèque de Chine
Basic information and facts
Ash gourd probably originates from India.
Southeast Asia, East Asia and South Asia
Annual, biennial, or perennial:
Ash gourd is an annual plant.
Ash gourd is a crawling or climbing vine. The vines can be several meters long.
The yellow flowers are either male or female.
Leaves are 10 to 20 centimeters long and have a long hairy stem.
Ash gourds have cylindrical or oval fruits which can reach a length of 80 centimeters and sometimes longer. The diameter is up to 30 centimeters.
When immature, the fruits have a thick white flesh with a sweet taste. Mature fruits are not hairy but develop a waxy coating. Mature fruits are not sweet; the whitish flesh is rather tasteless The waxy coating provides a long shelf life; ash gourd fruits can often be kept for a year or longer.
Climate and weather:
Ash gourd is tropical and requires warm weather.
Ash gourd has separate male and female flowers on the same plant. Cross pollination is by insects.
Vines can crawl or climb (e.g. in trees) and reach a length of several meters.
Ash gourd is propagated by seeds.
Fruits are hand picked, either green or ripe.
Ash gourd fruits are used as a vegetable. They can be used green, for example in curries, or ripe. Also the tender leaves and twigs of ash gourd are eaten as leafy vegetables.
Ash gourd in a vegetables garden