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Publication #HS603

Gourd, Cucuzzi — Lagenaria siceraria (Mol.) Standl.1

James M. Stephens2

Cucuzzi is also known as bottle gourd, calabash, suzza melon, zucca, Italian edible gourd, Tasmania bean, Guinea bean, New Guinea bean, and white flowered gourd. It is grown as a novelty garden item in Florida generally from seed advertised in seed catalogs as Guinea bean. The bottle gourd is another form, having somewhat different shaped fruits.

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DESCRIPTION

The plant is a vining, musky-scented annual, with hairy, large shallow-lobed leaves on long petioles. Leaves sometimes measure 6 to 12 inches across. Both male and female flowers are white, with the male flower borne on a long slender stem. Fruits are edible in a young immature stage, usually when about 10 inches long. They are light green in color, with a very smooth surface.

Shape varies, but most fruits are long and cylindrical, up to 3 feet long and 3 inches in diameter. Some are coiled and twisted, but most are fairly straight and club-shaped. The white pulpy interior has many seeds that at maturity are ½ inch long, white, and uniquely shaped. One end of the seed is pointed, while the other has three lobes.

CULTURE

The plant grows vigorously, climbing on anything within reach. Plant and grow cucuzzi like polebeans, but them give lots of room. Of great similarity to the cucuzzi is the snake gourd (Trichosanthes anguina), which is also called the club, viper, or serpent gourd.

Footnotes

1.

This document is HS603, one of a series of the Horticultural Sciences Department, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Original publication date May 1994. Revised March 2009. Reviewed February 2012. Visit the EDIS website at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu.

2.

James M. Stephens, Professor, Horticultural Sciences Department, Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville FL 32611.


The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.