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Project Name Data (Last Modified On 7/31/2013)

Flora Data (Last Modified On 7/31/2013)
Species Luffa aegyptiaca Miller
PlaceOfPublication Gard. Dict. abr. ed. 8. 1768, based on Momor- dica luffa L., 1753
Synonym Momordica cylindrica L., Sp. P1. 1009. 1753. TYPE: without locality, Herb. Linn. 1150.9 (LINN, not seen; microfiche MO). Momordica luffa L., Sp. P1. 1009. 1753. TYPE: India, Herb. Linn. 1150.6 (LINN, not seen; microfiche MO).
Description Monoecious, tendriled vines; stems 5- to 10-sulcate, pubescent to glabrate. Leaves with the blades suborbicular in outline, 10-25 cm long, as wide or slightly wider than long, apex acuminate to caudate, the base deeply cordate, the margin denticulate, chartaceous, the upper and the lower surfaces scabrous with pustu- lar based trichomes; petioles 4-12 cm long, slender, pubescent to glabrate, stri- ate; tendrils 3- to 5-branched, pubescent to glabrate. Staminate flowers in axil- lary racemes, the rachis 10-35 cm long, appressed pubescent, glabrate toward the base, 10- to 30-flowered in the upper half, the pedicels 1-2 cm long, pubes- cent; calyx campanulate, lobed for %i or more its length, the lobes 10-15 mm
Habit vines
Description long, lanceolate, acuminate, appressed pubescent; petals yellow, oblong cuneate to obovate, 2-3 (-4) cm long, mucronate, the outer surface puberulent, especially toward the base and on the nerves, the inner surface stipitate glandular, also with a few scattered nonglandular hairs, prominently ribbed, the stamens 3, free, the filaments 6-10 mm long, slender, puberulent, ciliate at the base, the anthers flexuous. Pistillate flowers solitary, axillary; peduncles 2-10 cm long; calyx and corolla as in the staminate flowers; ovary fusiform, ca. 1.5 cm long, appressed pubescent, 3-carpellate, the ovules numerous, horizontal, the styles connate, the stigmas 3, bilobate, densely papillate, staminodia 5, ca. 1 mm long, pubescent, the tip glabrous. Fruits green, longitudinally striate with darker markings, cylin- drical or fusiform, 10-30 cm long, ecostate, dehiscent by a conical, long-beaked operculum; seeds gray, mottled with darker markings, ovoid, compressed, 8-12 mm long, 7-10 mm wide, the margin narrowly winged, 2 oblique bumps present above the hilum on each surface, the testa granulate.
Note Luffa aegyptiaca, native to the Old World tropics, is spontaneous after cul- tivation and naturalized in Panama as well as other parts of the New World tropics. It usually is found along roadsides, in thickets, and near habitations at low elevations.
Common calabazo esponga
Common sponge cucumber vegetable sponge
Common spongegourd
Note It is used locally as a substitute for sponge or cooked and eaten as a vegetable.
Specimen CANAL ZONE: Balboa, Celestine 4 (US). Gatt'in, Hay es 146 (NY). Government forest along Las Cruces Trail, Hunter & Allen 684 (MO). Rio Crlande, near Culebra, Pittier 2115 (NY, US). Balboa, Standley 25542 (US). CHimIQUi: San Bartolo Arriba W of Puerto Armu- elles, Croat 26695 (MO). Between Rio Tinta and Rio Tabasara along main higbway, Wood- son et al. 417 (MO). COCLE: El Cope, road to Panamerican Highway, ca. 3 mi from El Cope, McDaniel & Cooke 14773 (FSU). Between Aguadulce and Anton, Woodson et al. 1214 (Cl, MO). DARIEN: Rio Sabana, ca. 4 mi above Santa Fe, Doke 10225 (MO). Rio Balsa, above Tucuti, Terry & Terry 1407 (F, GH, MO). HERRERA: 10 mi S of Ocu'i, Tyson et al. 2819 (MO). LOS SANTOS: 3 mi S of Carreta, ca. 5 mi S of Las Tables, Burch 1232 (GH, MO, US). 3 mi S of Chitre, D'Arcy & Croat 4189 (GH, MO, NY). PANAMA: El Llano, Croat 14498 (MO). Around town of Pacora, D'Arcy 9638 (MO). 6 ili E of Chepo on Panamneri- can Highway, Duke 4089 (GH, MO, US). El Llano, Duke 5842 (CH, MO). Isla de Pedro Gonzales, Dwyer 1692 (F, MO). Next to National Brewery near Transisthmian Highway, Tocumen, Dwyer 4095 (MO). Vera Cruz, Lewis et al. 2994 (MO). Next to National Brewery near Transisthmian Highway, Taylor (MO). SAN BLAS: Through cultivation on mainland in front of Ustupo, D'Arcy 9539 (MO). VERAGUAS: W of Sonai, Allen 1062 (F, GH, MO). Santiago, 4 mi from Transisthmian Highway toward Atalaya, Dwyer & Kirkbride 7415 (MO). Ponuga, Dwyer & Kirkbride 7446 (GH, MO). Cafiazas, Tyson 3606 (MO).
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