The Smooth Loofah (Luffa aegyptiaca) is a vigorous climber whose flowers are yellow.
The flowers develop into elongated fruits…
…much sought after as a vegetable, used in soups or fried with egg and tang hoon (Chinese vermicelli, glass noodle).
The plant last for years.
As the climber scrambles along, the slender stem develops aerial roots that eventually enter the ground below. This ensures that the plant continues to survive even when its original growing point is uprooted, rot or even cut off.
The yellow flowers are visited by carpenter bees (Xylopia sp.), honey bees (Apis sp.) and stingless bees (Trigona sp.) for the pollen. In the process of collecting pollen, these bees assist in pollination.
Old fruits turn brown and are collected for the fibrous skeleton that are used as loofah body scrubs. These are also used in the kitchen.
The Angled Loofah (Luffa acutangula) are more seen in wet markets and supermarkets than the Smooth Loofah.
30th January 2017