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Published In: The Gardeners Dictionary...Abridged...fourth edition vol. 2: [806]. 1754. (28 Jan 1754) (Gard. Dict. Abr. (ed. 4)) Name publication detail

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 6/2/2011)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project Data     (Last Modified On 6/3/2011)
General/Distribution: A genus of c. 6 species, two cultivated throughout the tropics and of doubtful origin (probably Old World), one tropical American and the rest are distributed in the Old World. Represented in Pakistan by 4 specific and infraspecific taxa.


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Annual, scandent, climbing or trailing, scabrous or hairy. Monoecious or dioecious. Tendrils proximally 3-6-fid, less often bifid. Leaves simple, palmately 5-7-lobed, rarely subentire, lamina sometimes gland-dotted. Petiole eglandular. Probracts at leaf axil, glandular. Flowers medium to large, yellow; male flowers racemose. Calyx-tube shortly campanulate, calyx lobes relatively large, enclosing petals in bud, entire. Petals 5, free. Stamens 3(5), all monothecous or one 1-locular and others 2-locular, filaments inserted on the tube, free; anthers free; connective broad, thecae marginal, much convoluted; female flowers solitary. Ovary smooth, ribbed, tuberculate or spiny, stigmas 3, bibbed; ovules many, horizontal, calyx-tube short. Fruit medium sized to large, subglobose to elongate-cylindrical, beaked, smooth, ribbed or sparsely to densely spiny with short to rather long spines, brownish, dry and fibrous, dehiscent by an apical operculum. Seeds medium-sized, distinctly compressed, oblong-elliptic in outline.

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1 Flowers pale to deep yellow. Fruit more than 5 cm long, without bristles (2)
+ Flowers white. Fruit 2.5-3.0 cm long, densely covered with bristles 1 Luffa echinata
2 (1) Stamens 3. Flowers pale yellow. Fruit clavate, acutely 10-angled. Seeds beaked, obscurely winged in beaked region (3)
+ Stamens 5. Flowers deep yellow. Fruit cylindrical, not angled, smooth, longitudinally striped. Seeds without beak, with c.l mm wide winged margin 2 Luffa cylindrica
3 (2) Petals distincly emarginate. Fruit (10-) 15-30 (-45) cm long, 5-8 cm in diameter 3 Luffa acutangula (L.) Roxb. var. acutangula
+ Petals round or scarcely emarginate. Fruit 5-8 cm long, 3-4 cm in diameter 3 Luffa acutangula var. amara
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