It is the name applied to plants and hard-shelled fruits of various species of the cucurbitaceae called the gourd family. The best known are the bottle or colabash gourd (Lagenaria siceraira) and the yellowflowered ornamental gourd (Cucurbita pepe).
There is definite evidence that the fruits of the bottle gourd were used as utensils in the new world many centuries before the arrival of Columbus. Inspite of this, botanists believe that the bottle-gourd is native to Africa where many natural varieties occur throughout the central regions of the continent. Probably the fruits were carried to the New World long ago by ocean currents.
The bottle gourd is a hairy, rapid growing trailing or climbing annual herb, extending 30 feet or more in length. It has stout 5-angled stems, long-stalked, 5-lobeq. leaves and large yellow flowers. The fruits which may exceed 5 feet in length vary in shape. In India, their woody shells serve as utensils and as sounding boxes for the sitar and ektara used by the bauls of Bengal. The pulp of the fruit is eaten as a cooked vegetable. For raw juice purposes, this vegetable is not used.
Benefit and uses of Gourd.
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