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Taxon: Luffa aegyptiaca Mill.

Genus: Luffa
Family: Cucurbitaceae tribe: Sicyoeae
Nomen number: 22788
Place of publication: Gard. dict. ed. 8: Luffa. 1768
Name verified on: 12-Jun-1992 by ARS Systematic Botanists. Last updated: 10-May-2000
Species priority site is: Plant Genetic Resources Conservation Unit, Griffin, GA (S9).
Accessions: 94 in National Plant Germplasm System.
  • all available ) NPGS accessions. or .
  • all available ) NPGS accessions by country.
  • Check PlantSearch database of Botanic Gardens Conservation International for possible non-NPGS germplasm.

Common names:

  • dishrag gourd   (Source: Biol Cucurb 120.1990) – English
  • loofah   (Source: Biol Cucurb 120.1990) – English
  • rag gourd   (Source: Biol Cucurb 120.1990) – English
  • smooth loofah   (Source: World Econ Pl ) – English
  • sponge gourd   (Source: Biol Cucurb 120.1990) – English
  • vegetable-sponge   (Source: Dict Gard [as L. cylindrica]) – English
  • si gua   (Source: F ChinaEng ) – Transcribed Chinese
  • courge torchon   (Source: Dict Rehm ) – French
  • pétole   (Source: Dict Rehm ) – French
  • Schwammgurke   (Source: Dict Rehm ) – German
  • hechima   (Source: F Japan [as L. cylindrica]) – Japanese Rōmaji
  • susemioi   (Source: Kulturpflanze 34:106) – Transcribed Korean
  • esponja-vegetal   (Source: Dict Rehm ) – Portuguese
  • estropajo   (Source: Spanish Dict ) – Spanish
  • paste   (Source: Dict Rehm ) – Spanish
  • ghia tori   (Source: Hamdard 38:99. 1995 [as L. cylindrica]) – Urdu (Pakistan)

Economic importance:


Distributional range:

  • cultivated throughout tropics

  • origin Asia or possibly Africa


  • Bibliograf, S. A., eds. 1964. Vox modern college Spanish & English dictionary.
  • Burkill, H. M. 1985–2004. The useful plants of west tropical Africa. [= L. cylindrica M. Roem.].
  • Committee on Stabilization. 1975. Report of the standing committee on stabilization of specific names. Taxon 24:174.
  • Correa, J. E. & H. Y. Bernal. 1991. Especies vegetales promisorias de los paises del Convenio Andres Bello. 6:271–290.
  • Duke, J. A. et al. 2002. CRC Handbook of medicinal herbs.
  • Erhardt, W. et al. 2008. Der große Zander: Enzyklopädie der Pflanzennamen.
  • Exell, A. W. 1933. Correct botanical name of the Luffa sponge. J. Bot. 71:352.
  • Filipowicz, N. et al. 2014. Revisiting Luffa (Cucurbitaceae) 25 years after C. Heiser: Species boundaries and application of names tested with plastid and nuclear DNA sequences. Syst. Bot. 39:205–215.
  • Hamid, S. et al. 1995. Medicinal plants of family Cucurbitaceae of Pakistan (part II). Hamdard 38:99.
  • Hammel, B. E. et al., eds. 2003–. Manual de plantas de Costa Rica.
  • Heiser, C. B. & E. L. Schilling. 1990. The genus Luffa: a problem in phytogeography. P. 123 in: Bates, D. M. et al., Biology and utilization of the Cucurbitaceae.
  • Huxley, A., ed. 1992. The new Royal Horticultural Society dictionary of gardening. [= L. cylindrica M. Roem.].
  • Kartesz, J. T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland.
  • Leung, A. Y. & S. Foster. 1996. Encyclopedia of common natural ingredients used in food, drugs, and cosmetics, ed. 2. [= L. cylindrica M. Roem.].
  • Liberty Hyde Bailey Hortorium. 1976. Hortus third.
  • Markle, G. M. et al., eds. 1998. Food and feed crops of the United States, ed. 2.
  • McGuffin, M., J. T. Kartesz, A. Y. Leung, & A. O. Tucker. 2000. Herbs of commerce, ed. 2.
  • Nicolson, D. H. et al. 1988. An interpretation of Van Rheede's Hortus Malabaricus. Regnum Veg. 119:97.
  • Porcher, M. H. et al. Searchable World Wide Web Multilingual Multiscript Plant Name Database (MMPND) (on-line resource).
  • Rehm, S. 1994. Multilingual dictionary of agronomic plants.
  • Siemonsma, J. S. & Kasem Piluek, eds. 1993. Vegetables. In: Faridah Hanum, I. & L. J. G. van der Maesen, eds., Plant Resources of South-East Asia (PROSEA). 8:194–196.
  • Suresh, C. R. A commentary on Rheede's Hortus Malabaricus.
  • Wu Zheng-yi & P. H. Raven et al., eds. 1994–. Flora of China (English edition).


Check other web resources for Luffa aegyptiaca Mill.:

  • Flora of China: Online version from Harvard University
  • Mansfeld: Mansfeld's World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops
  • ePIC: Electronic Plant Information Centre of Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
  • AGRICOLA: Article Citation Database or NAL Catalog of USDA's National Agricultural Library
  • Entrez: NCBI's search engine for PubMed citations, GenBank sequences, etc.


  • Check for additional images
  • Google Images Images Note: Be advised that their identity may be inaccurate. Proper identification of a plant may require specialized taxonomic knowledge or comparison with properly documented herbarium material.

Abbreviations & symbols in GRIN Taxonomy

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Cite as:
USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program.
Germplasm Resources Information Network - (GRIN) [Online Database].
National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland.
URL: (28 November 2015)

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