Angled Loofah, Chinese Okra, Ribbed Gourd
Luffa acutangula

Family: Cucurbitaceae (koo-ker-bih-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Luffa (LUF-fuh) (Info)
Species: acutangula (a-kew-TAN-gu-luh) (Info)

Category:

Annuals

Vegetables

Vines and Climbers

Height:

20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

Spacing:

6-9 in. (15-22 cm)

Hardiness:

Not Applicable

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Danger:

N/A

Bloom Color:

Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Blooms repeatedly

Foliage:

Blue-Green

Shiny/Glossy-Textured

Other details:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Non-patented

Propagation Methods:

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds

Unblemished fruit must be significantly overripe before harvesting seed; clean and dry seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

Regional

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

Vincent, Alabama

Gainesville, Florida

Largo, Florida

Sanderson, Florida

Louisville, Kentucky

Lafayette, Louisiana

Fulton, Missouri

Hulbert, Oklahoma

Eugene, Oregon

Lake City, South Carolina

Pawleys Island, South Carolina

Beaumont, Texas

Cedar Creek, Texas

Morgan, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:

7
positives
0
neutrals
1
negative
RatingContent
Positive

On Jun 16, 2015, Lily_love from Central, AL (Zone 7b) wrote:

It's said that this climbing annual will grow up to 20 feet in warm climate. Keep seeded trays moist at a steady warm (80-90 F) area. Grow plant with support so fruits will be hanging. Keep well watered and fertilized. When the main stem and branches are 4-6 feet long, pinch out the tips to encourage branching, and fruiting.

Pick immature fruits for vegetable uses when they age 10-18 inches long.

Negative

On Sep 6, 2010, mobeebalm from Fulton, MO wrote:

In my zone 5-6 garden, this plant is a thug! Mistakenly sowed seed beside regular okra in early May. This vine's taken over my entire vegetable garden, climbing 6-8 feet up and over vegetables, flowers and shrubs, smothered in small, bright yellow flowers, leaves 6-12" broad. Now it's bearing fruit, very ribbed, hard spines, but very sweet-tasting raw. Ants cover the fruit (because it's sweet ?) similar to dense texture of courgettes, the form resembles a cucumber but with rigid spines.

Positive

On Feb 25, 2009, joeworm11 from Eugene, OR wrote:

I had just moved so I was starting my garden late (mid May). I planted one of these in my raised beds in Eugene, OR and it grew to about 7-8 feet with beautiful yellow flowers. My mom (outside Salem, OR) also had one but hers died after transplanting. I hear they become bitter and fibrous if the "fruits" grow beyond about 6". I got two "fruits" from this and harvested them early to avoid the bitter taste and toughness. They were very good in a stir fry. I often see these in Asian markets but they are sold about 18" long (I've yet to try them to see if they're bitter). I also hear that you can use Angled loofa as a loofa sponge if you let them grow very large but Luffa cylindrica is a better choice as it makes a superior sponge than Luffa acutangula, which is mainly used for eating... read more

Positive

On Sep 10, 2006, cowtrailrd from Shawnee, OK wrote:

We grow this plant in containers to climb on a chain link fence. It would grow very high if one wished. We only use it for frying like regular okra. when picked about 1" around it is breaded and fried like other okra. We like it because of heavy production in a small area and the plants are not spiny like normal okra. Also it is not sticky or gooey. It can be frozen after slicing and put in freezer bags. As much as desired can later be taken out easily.

Positive

On Aug 31, 2005, froggie13 from Pawleys Island, SC wrote:

It is a great grower! All of the fruit or veg is still green. Can't wait till they turn brown.

Positive

On Jun 27, 2005, kbmartin39 from Morgan, TX wrote:

Very very interesting to grow.. Must have something to climb on.. it's definitely a vine!! Ive also posted a picture of it in it's early stages.. They are great for washing hard to get dirt off your hands, or any part of the body.. just like a loofah!! Plenty of seeds inside it's hollow body.. and I use them to replant new ones every year... see pic...

Positive

On Nov 28, 2004, darrow from Cedar Creek, TX wrote:

VERY SATISFYING TO GROW ,MY KIDS HAD A BLAST WITH THESE. GROW FOR THE FIBEROUS SPOUNGE IT PRODUCES WHEN MATURE . CAN BE HARVESTED WHEN THE GOURD TURNS A LIGHT GREEN TO YELLOW COLUOR FOR A SOFTER SPONGE. USE FOR BATH,WASHING DISHES AND GROUND UP AND ADDED TO YOUR HOMEADE SOAP.

Positive

On Nov 12, 2003, Michaelp from Glendale, UT (Zone 5a) wrote:

Similar to Luffa cylindrica (Smooth Loofah), except it has about 10 raised ridges running the length of the fruit. The fruits are edible when young, but they become bitter as they mature (also purgative.)

These also make good bath sponges.