Economic Botany

, Volume 9, Issue 3, pp 211–223 | Cite as

Loofah—The sponge gourd

  • W. M. Porterfield


The sponge gourd has a long history of cultivation in most tropical countries of the world. Its principal uses are based on the closed fiber network that forms a resilient mesh in the walls and core of the fruit, similar in structure to that of a sponge. As oil and water filters in marine engines it was an important item in wartime supplies of the navy. Its early service as food and medicine is almost negligible in contrast to the many more recently found civilian uses ranging from bath sponges to shock absorbers and soundproof linings.


Sponge Economic Botany Male Flower Shock Absorber Pistillate Flower 
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Copyright information

© The New York Botanical Garden 1955

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. M. Porterfield
    • 1
  1. 1.Washington 7

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