Lagenaria siceraria Mol Standl
[From Latin, lagenaria = shaped like a bottle and from Hebrew, shekar = strong fermented drink]
Physical description: It is a climber cultivated for its fruits which have manifold uses in the tropical regions. The plant has the greasy smell of a mild
Synonymy: Lagenaria vulgaris Ser., Lagenaria leucantha Rusby.
Common names: Bottle gourd; gourde de pelerin (French); businswai (Burma); hu lu (Chinese); urong ka' dai, lepo ga'; (Kenyah); cabaceira (Portuguese); alabu (Sanskrit); calabeza vinatera (Spanish); shorakkai (Tamil).
stink bug. The stems are smooth, hairy, and 5-angled. Leaves: simple, alternate and without stipules. The petiole is hairy and 3.4 cm x 1.3 cm-1 mm. The tendrils are hairy, bifid, and 3.3cm-4.5cm long. The blade is papery, hairy, somewhat 5-lobed, laxly serrate, and shows 2-3 pairs of secondary nerves which are slightly raised on both surfaces. The flowers are axillary, solitary, monoecious or dioecious. The flower pedicel is 8.2 cm x 1 mm and hairy. The calyx is conical, 2 cm long and produces 5 linear sepals. The corolla is showy, whitish, and consists of 5 orbiculate and very thin 3cm long petals. The andrecium consists of 3 stamens which are connate and included. The ovary is oblong and pubescent and encloses several ovules which are attached to parietal placentas, the style is short and produces upward 3-bifid stigmatic lobes. The fruits are 30 cm long, flask-shaped berries with a 20 cm long neck. The seeds are numerous, 1.6cm-2cm, white, compressed, and with marginal grooves. Although bitter, the young fruits, flowers and shoots are eaten. Fruits that have ripen are used to make floats, bottles and ladles (Fig. 113).
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