||It is an annual herbaceous climber.
||Leaves pale green, simple, 5-7-angled or shallowly lobed with rough surfaces.
||Stem acutely five-angled with three or more hairy tendrils at each point where tendrils extend.
||Flowers are pale yellow, 4-5 cm in diameter and unisexual. Male flowers are borne on stalks on unbranched elongated inflorescences, known as racemes, while female flowers are solitary and borne in the same leaf-axils as the male flowers. Flowers are fragrant, opening in the evening.
||Matured fruit is dry and fibrous, splitting from a lid-like structure, known as an operculum, located at the apex of the fruit. Club-shaped and with ten prominent ribs running along its length, the fruit has a fibrous spongy skeleton network inside, containing numerous flattened seeds that are pitted and black without a narrow wing-like margin. Green in colour when young, the fruit turns dry and brown when mature, together with the disappearance of its soft internal tissue.
|Others - Plant Morphology
||Luffa acutangula is one of the species from the Old World and is thought to have originated from India, where wild forms occur. Now cultivated in South and Southeast Asia, and occasionally in other tropical subtropical areas.
||It typically grows in the low humid tropics, up to 500 m altitude.
||Rich soils with high organic matter content, good drainage and pH values of 6.5 – 7.5 are preferred by Luffa acutangula. Sandy loams may also be used as a growing medium, but sufficient nutrients must be supplied. Frost-sensitive, Luffa acutangula is intolerant of too much water, with high rainfall especially harmful during flowering and fruiting seasons. Differences in daylength sensitivity exist amongst the cultivars, there being day-neutral, short-day and long-day cultivars. Luffa acutangula is propagated by seed.
||Luffa, or loofah, is derived from the Arabic name, louff, for Luffa cylindrica, while the specific epithet, acutangula, means “with sharp edges”, referring to the prominent ridges of the fruit.
||Edible Plant Parts (Edible Fruits, Edible Leaves, Edible Flowers)
Food (Fruit & Vegetable : Immature fruits, young leaves and flower buds of Luffa acutangula are used as vegetables. The young fruits are cooked or fried for use in soups or sliced and dried for later use. Young fruits from the sweet cultivars may be eaten raw like cucumbers or pickled if small in size. Mature fruits are fibrous, bitter and inedible, containing purgative substances. They are also little used, as compared to mature fruits of L. aegyptiaca, or the smooth loofah, from which loofah sponges are much easier to extract. ;Herb and Spice)
Medicinal ( The fibres, charred and fresh fruits, seeds, leaves and sap from the stem of Luffa acutangula have uses in medicine and cosmetics, particularly in Japan and China.)