Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Calabash Tree
Crescentia cujete

Family: Bignoniaceae (big-no-nih-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Crescentia (kress-EN-tee-uh) (Info)
Species: cujete

6 members have or want this plant for trade.

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)
20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

Unknown - Tell us

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Seed is poisonous if ingested
Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested
All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested
Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction
Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling
Pollen may cause allergic reaction

Bloom Color:
Pale Green

Bloom Time:
Unknown - Tell us


Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Flowers are fragrant
This plant is suitable for growing indoors
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings
Very high moisture needs; suitable for bogs and water gardens
Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season
This plant may be considered a protected species; check before digging or gathering seeds
This plant is monocarpic
This plant is fire-retardant
This plant is resistant to deer
Flowers are good for cutting
Flowers are good for drying and preserving
Provides winter interest
Suitable for growing in containers

Soil pH requirements:
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
From woody stem cuttings
From semi-hardwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

Click thumbnail
to view:

By bermudiana
Thumbnail #1 of Crescentia cujete by bermudiana

By bermudiana
Thumbnail #2 of Crescentia cujete by bermudiana

By bermudiana
Thumbnail #3 of Crescentia cujete by bermudiana

By bermudiana
Thumbnail #4 of Crescentia cujete by bermudiana

By Monocromatico
Thumbnail #5 of Crescentia cujete by Monocromatico

By Monocromatico
Thumbnail #6 of Crescentia cujete by Monocromatico

By palmbob
Thumbnail #7 of Crescentia cujete by palmbob

There are a total of 15 photos.
Click here to view them all!


2 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive BROforest On Sep 13, 2006, BROforest from Brownsville, TX (Zone 9b) wrote:

I had a hard time getting this plant identified in Brownsville, TX. It grows in two or three separate locations around town but none had fruit until this last year. I believe that with the lack of a winter we had in 2005-2006 the trees were finally able to sucessfully flower and fruit. The leaves as in my photo join in a middle point and radiate out like a cross which is unlike some of the other photos of this same tree- cujete. Other sources show C.alata as having these crossed leaves. The fruits turn brown and rock hard and its easy to see why they are so popular for decoration.

Neutral Monocromatico On Sep 10, 2003, Monocromatico from Rio de Janeiro
Brazil (Zone 11) wrote:

The instrument used to give rythim to Capoeira (a brazilian martial art), called "berimbau", uses the dry shell of this fruit cut in a half.

When the tree is loaded with mature fruits, the erect branches bend down, changing the trees shape. Interesting effect, that.

Positive bermudiana On Jan 24, 2003, bermudiana wrote:

Pretty tree with erect branches and eye-catching oval, hard-shelled fruit which is used for making bird boxes, water scoops and even handbags. The leaves grow directly out of the branches. Low-maintenance.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Dunnellon, Florida
Loxahatchee, Florida
Brownsville, Texas

We recommend Firefox
Overwhelmed? There's a lot to see here. Try starting at our homepage.

[ Home | About | Advertise | Media Kit | Mission | Featured Companies | Submit an Article | Terms of Use | Tour | Rules | Privacy Policy | Contact Us ]

Back to the top

Copyright © 2000-2015 Dave's Garden, an Internet Brands company. All Rights Reserved.

Hope for America