Lagenaria siceraria (Molina) Standl.

bottle gourd, calabash

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New England Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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North America Distribution

Adapted from BONAP data

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Facts About

Bottle gourd (aka calabash) is an annual, vining member of the squash family that is widely cultivated for its interestingly shaped fruits; the genus name derives from the Greek word, lagenos, for "vase." When dry, the fruits can be used as containers, pipes, rattles, and many other uses. The large white flowers open at night and fruit set is enhanced by hand-pollination. Seeds, leaves, flowers, and young stems are all edible.

Habitat

Anthropogenic (man-made or disturbed habitats), shores of rivers or lakes

Characteristics

Habitat
  • terrestrial
  • wetlands
New England state
Massachusetts
Flower petal color
  • white
  • yellow
Leaf type
the leaves are simple (i.e., lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets)
Leaf arrangement
alternate: there is one leaf per node along the stem
Leaf blade edges
  • the edge of the leaf blade has lobes, or it has both teeth and lobes
  • the edge of the leaf blade has teeth
Flower symmetry
there are two or more ways to evenly divide the flower (the flower is radially symmetrical)
Number of sepals, petals or tepals
there are five petals, sepals, or tepals in the flower
Fusion of sepals and petals
the petals or the sepals are fused into a cup or tube
Stamen number
  • 0
  • 3
Fruit type (general)
  • the fruit is dry but does not split open when ripe
  • the fruit is fleshy
Show All Characteristics
  • Clonal plantlets
    Bulbils
    the plant does not appear to have bulbils
    Bulblets replace flowers
    there are no bulblets where the flowers are located
  • Flowers
    Calyx symmetry
    there are two or more ways to evenly divide the calyx (the calyx is radially symmetrical)
    Carpels fused
    the carpels are fused to one another
    Cleistogamous flowers
    there are no cleistogamous flowers on the plan
    Corolla palate
    no
    Corona lobe length
    0 mm
    Epicalyx
    the flower does not have an epicalyx
    Epicalyx number of parts
    0
    Filament surface
    • NA
    • the filament is smooth, with no hairs or scales
    Flower description
    the flower has an inferior ovary, with or without a hypanthium
    Flower petal color
    • white
    • yellow
    Flower symmetry
    there are two or more ways to evenly divide the flower (the flower is radially symmetrical)
    Flowers sunken into stem
    no
    Form of style
    • NA
    • the style is lobed at the tip, and unbranched
    Fused stamen clusters
    NA
    Fusion of sepals and petals
    the petals or the sepals are fused into a cup or tube
    Horns in hoods (Asclepias)
    NA
    Hypanthium
    the flower has a hypanthium
    Inflorescence one-sided
    the flowers are arrayed in a spiral around the inflorescence axis or branches, or occur singly, or in several ranks
    Inner tepals (Rumex)
    NA
    Nectar spur
    the flower has no nectar spurs
    Number of pistils
    1
    Number of sepals, petals or tepals
    there are five petals, sepals, or tepals in the flower
    Ovary position
    the ovary is below the point of petal and/or sepal attachment
    Petal and sepal arrangement
    the flower includes two cycles of petal- or sepal-like structures
    Petal and sepal colors
    • white
    • yellow
    Petal appearance
    the petals are thin and delicate, and pigmented (colored other than green or brown)
    Petal folds or pleats
    the petals of the flower have folds or plaits on them
    Petal hairs (Viola)
    NA
    Petal number
    5
    Petal tips (Cuscuta)
    NA
    Scales inside corolla
    no
    Sepal and petal color
    the sepals are different from the petals
    Sepal appendages
    the sepals do not have appendages on them
    Sepal appendages (Oenothera)
    NA
    Sepal number
    5
    Stamen attachment
    • NA
    • the stamens are attached at or near the bases of the petals or tepals
    Stamen number
    • 0
    • 3
    Stamen position relative to petals
    NA
    Umbel flower reproductive parts
    NA
    Upper lip of bilabiate corolla
    NA
  • Fruits or seeds
    Achene relative orientation
    NA
    Achene shape
    NA
    Achene surface (Polygonum)
    NA
    Achene type
    NA
    Berry color
    • brown
    • green
    • orange
    Capsule color (Viola)
    NA
    Capsule ribs
    NA
    Capsule splitting
    NA
    Fruit beak length
    0 mm
    Fruit cross-section
    the fruit is round in cross-section
    Fruit features (Brassicaceae)
    NA
    Fruit locules
    one
    Fruit type (general)
    • the fruit is dry but does not split open when ripe
    • the fruit is fleshy
    Fruit type (specific)
    the fruit is a berry (fleshy, with the wall enclosing one or more sections, with two or more seeds)
    Legumes (Fabaceae)
    NA
    Mericarp length
    0 mm
    Mericarp segment shape (Desmodium)
    NA
    Other markings on berry
    • the ripe berries are mostly one color without spots or streaks
    • the ripe berries have spots or streaks on them
    Placenta arrangement
    the plant has parietal placentation, where ovules develop on the wall or slight outgrowths of the wall forming broken partitions within a compound ovary
    Rows of seeds in fruit (Brassicaceae)
    NA
    Schizocarpic fruit compression
    NA
    Schizocarpic fruit segments
    0
    Septum in fruit (Brassicaceae)
    NA
    Wings on fruit
    the fruit does not have wings on it
    prickles on fruits
    the fruits do not have thorn-like defensive structures
  • Glands or sap
    Glands on leaf blade
    the leaf blades do not have glandular dots or scales
    Sap
    the sap is clear and watery
    Sap color
    the sap is clear
  • Growth form
    Lifespan
    the plant lives only a single year or less
    Parasitism
    the plant is not parasitic
    Plant color
    the leaves or young stems of the plant are green
    Plants darken when dry
    no
    Spines on plant
    the plant has no spines
  • Leaves
    Bracteole number (Apiaceae)
    0
    Bracts in plantain (Plantago)
    NA
    Final leaf segment length to width ratio (compound lvs only)
    0
    Hairs on underside of leaf
    the underside of the leaf is fuzzy or hairy
    Leaf arrangement
    alternate: there is one leaf per node along the stem
    Leaf blade base
    the leaf has a distinct leaf stalk (petiole)
    Leaf blade base shape
    the base of the leaf blade is cordate (heart-shaped, has rounded lobes at the base)
    Leaf blade edges
    • the edge of the leaf blade has lobes, or it has both teeth and lobes
    • the edge of the leaf blade has teeth
    Leaf blade length
    100–350 mm
    Leaf blade shape
    • the leaf blade is cordate (heart-shaped with backward-facing rounded lobes), or sagittate (arrow-shaped with backward-facing pointed lobes)
    • the leaf blade is ovate (widest below the middle and broadly tapering at both ends)
    • the leaf blade is reniform (kidney-shaped; wider than long)
    Leaf blade surface colors
    the upper side of the leaf blade is relatively uniform in color
    Leaf duration
    the leaves drop off in winter (or they whither but persist on the plant)
    Leaf form
    the leaves are green, with an expanded blade and a leaf-like texture
    Leaf spines
    there are no spines on the leaf edges
    Leaf type
    the leaves are simple (i.e., lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets)
    Leaflet petiolules
    NA
    Leaves per node
    there is one leaf per node along the stem
    Specific leaf type
    the leaves are simple (i.e., lobed or unlobed but not separated into leaflets)
    Stipule features
    NA
    Stipules
    there are no stipules on the plant
  • Place
    Habitat
    • terrestrial
    • wetlands
    New England state
    Massachusetts
    Specific habitat
    • man-made or disturbed habitats
    • shores of rivers or lakes
  • Scent
    Plant odor
    the plant does not have much of a smell
  • Stem, shoot, branch
    Branched tendrils
    • the tendrils are branched
    • the tendrils are not branched
    Hairs between stem nodes
    the hairs on the stem are plain, without glands or branches, and not tangled
    Leaves on stem
    there is at least one full leaf above the base of the flowering stem
    Tendril origin
    NA
    Tendrils
    the plant has tendrils

Wetland Status

Not classified

New England Distribution and Conservation Status

Distribution

Connecticut
absent
Maine
absent
Massachusetts
present
New Hampshire
absent
Rhode Island
absent
Vermont
absent

Conservation Status

Exact status definitions can vary from state to state. For details, please check with your state.

Massachusetts
unranked (S-rank: SNR)

Native to North America?

No

Synonyms

  • Cucurbita lagenaria L.
  • Cucurbita siceraria Molina
  • Lagenaria leucantha Rusby
  • Lagenaria vulgaris Ser.

Family

Cucurbitaceae

Genus

Lagenaria

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Information from Dichotomous Key of Flora Novae Angliae

1.  Lagenaria siceraria (Molina) Standl. E

bottle gourd. Cucurbita lagenaria L.; C. siceraria Molina; Lagenaria leucantha Rusby; 
 L. vulgaris Ser. • MA. Gardens, beaches.