Luffa Aegyptiaca or smooth loofah
Great for exfoliating dead skin cells on the surface of the skin to reveal healthier, younger skin beneath, I was excited to find Luffa seeds! These plants require a long, hot season to grow and not much water once established – perfect for our hot Southern California summer. When the fruit matures, fibrous insides develop that are the Loofahs famous for exfoliation. Luffa is an annual, heat-loving vine that can be grown wherever melons are successful. Usually trellised, they love to climb.
Tender seedlings, we kept them protected until there were two true leaves, then planted them in the “back forty” and allowed them to be neglected.
Three months later I walked the perimeter and found a gopher had, for the second time, cut off a branch of the luffa – this time one with several immature luffa on it. Sadly I brought the little immature plants in, did a little research and became happy again as I tasted the delicious fruit of this unusual plant!
They looked a little like zucchini, but were juicier and more flavorful! Delicious raw and steamed I am now grateful to the gopher who encouraged me to try them 🙂