Calabash Tree
Crescentia cujete

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

Category:

Trees

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Height:

15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)

20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

Spacing:

Unknown - Tell us

Hardiness:

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Danger:

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

N/A

Bloom Color:

Pale Green

Bloom Time:

Unknown - Tell us

Foliage:

Deciduous

Shiny/Glossy-Textured

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

Regional

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

Dunnellon, Florida

Loxahatchee, Florida

Brownsville, Texas

Gardeners' Notes:

2
positives
1
neutral
0
negatives
RatingContent
Positive

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

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

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.