1-2ft long, cylindrical, smooth skinned gourd. The interior contains white flesh as well as a fibrous structure that is dried and used as a sponge.
Very fast growing vine to 10-15ft. Vines may be ground dwelling, but grow best when give upward support. If growing for sponges, allow the fruits to turn from green to yellow on the vine. Fruits will lose quite a bit of moisture and become light. Harvest, pull of thin outer skin and remove seeds. The fibrous core should then be bleached and dried before using.
They are frost tender, but can be grown as summer annuals.
Care is similar to other gourds and melons. Water frequently, grow in full sun.
Grown both for its edible fruits and as a source of sponges.
Native to South America.
South African Spiny Cucumber