Sometimes known as sponge gourd, the luffa (or loufa) is probably best know for the bath sponges that are made from the mature fruit. In some parts of the world, however, luffas are equally prized as a vegetable, when they are braised or cooked in curries by Asians, Chinese and Thais.
This variety of luffa grows up to a metre long when fully mature, but at this point they are unedible as they have the inner network of tough fibres which makes them good sponges. To be use in the kitchen, the fruit should be harvested when they are 40 to 45cm long when they have a soft puffy, texture. The plants are vigorous heat lovers that are best grown in a tunnel or greenhouse at least 8 x 12 feet in size.
Please note: The seed needs a temperature of 27˚C to germinate, even then they are slow to emerge and come up erratically (so be patient).
Approximate number of seeds per pack: 8
Nid, a British Thai, picking some of our luffa to take home and cook.