Bottle gourd (Lagenaria siceraria)

Bottle gourd was one of the earliest cultivated fruits, dating back at least several thousand years BC. Its origin is said to be from Africa but it is still disputable and debated on. It is grown mainly for its multi-purpose usages rather than for food consumption.

Bottle gourd comes in numerous shape and sizes, including those intentional growth. The bottle gourd photos shown above is one of the most common shape used as a container. The smaller fruit is for decorative purposes whereas the larger matured fruit is mainly used as utensil, bottle, container or pot. The huge ones can reach way over three feet in length. It is so huge and fat that it looks scary yet funny.

Its usages is so versatile that it can even be used as musical instrument, pipes or anything you can think of. Some of the shapes are so unnatural as it can be forced-grown in earthen molds or constricted by bands, to form whatever shapes the grower intended for.

Its natural color varies from light to dark green, with or without blotches, when fresh but will turn brown when it is dried. There are many white seeds scattered throughout the white flesh inside but it will be hollowed, cleaned and dried when used other than for food. The dried fruits are one of the most painted fruits around, similar to pumpkin. You will be able to find many painted ones, with all kinds of funny faces, designs and patterns.

Those bottle gourds that are cultivated for food, are usually longish and cylindrical in shape without the indented near the center. It is mainly used as a vegetable and can be quite tasteless, bitter or slightly sweet on its own.