18th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest Natural World
Sponge Gourd (Luffa sepium)

The luffas are a group of six or seven species of climbing vines from the gourd family. The most widely cultivated species, Luffa acutangula and Luffa cylindrica, are native to the Indian subcontinent and are grown for their fruits, which are either eaten raw or left to dry to their fibrous interior for use as bath sponges. Luffa sepium is native to tropical South America. Its fruits are comparatively small, ranging from 4 to 12 cm in length; other members of the genus can produce fruits up to 30 cm long.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 02.2020
Date Uploaded: 08.2020
Photo Location: Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Camera: NIKON D850
Copyright: © Levon Biss