What are Gourds?
According to the American Gourd Society, there are three main types of gourds:
Cucurbita or ornamental are gourds with which most of us are familiar and are used in fall decorations. Their vines produce large orange blossoms and bloom during the daytime. Among the many kinds of ornamentals are:
- crown of thorns
Lagenaria or hardshell gourds are usually larger, and their vines produce white blossoms which bloom at night. Lagenaria are green when growing on the vine, and have thick, hard shells when dry. Once dried, they're used for different types of crafts. Hardshell varieties include:
- Unlike the other types of gourds, Luffas have an easily removed outer shell and are important for their tough, fibrous interior, which is often used as sponges. The yellow-flowered vines bloom during the day.