Crescentia alata Kunth, F. W. H. A. von Humboldt et al., Nov. gen. sp. 3:123[folio]; 3:158[quarto]. 1819
(Syn. Crescentia ternata Sessé & Moc.; Crescentia trifolia Blanco; Otophora paradoxa Blume; Parmentiera alata (Kunth) Miers; Parmentiera alata Kunth; Pteromischus alatus (Kunth) Pichon);
 
Mexican Calabash, Jicaro, Morrito, Winged Calabash;
Mexico (Baja California Norte, Baja California Sur, Chiapas, Chihuahua, Colima,
Durango, Guerrero, Hidalgo, Jalisco, Mexico State, Michoacan, Morelos, Nayarit,
Oaxaca, Puebla, Queretaro, San Luis Potosi, Sinaloa, Sonora, Tabasco,
Tamaulipas, Veracruz, Zacatecas), Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Costa Rica,
Panama, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico (introduced), Lesser Antilles (introduced)
(Guadeloupe (introduced)), New Caledonia (introduced), Bismarck Arch.
(introduced) (New Britain (introduced)), trop. Africa (introduced), Chad
(introduced), Benin (introduced), Bioko Isl. (Fernando Poo) (introduced),
Southern Marianas (introduced) (Saipan (introduced), Guam (introduced)),
Mauritius (introduced), Réunion (introduced), Java (introduced), Thailand
(introduced), India (introduced), Philippines (introduced), Vietnam (introduced)
as per Catalogue of Life;
 
Key to the Species as per Crescentia
a) Leaves trifoliolate; petioles prominently winged; flowers maroon red; fruits globose or pyriform…………………….1. C. alata
b) Leaves simple, undivided; petioles not winged; flowers whitish green; fruits ovoid……………………………………….2. C. cujete
   


Crescentia alata (variously called Mexican Calabash, Jicaro, Morrito, Winged Calabash [1]) is a species in the trumpet-flower family Bignoniaceae, native to southern Mexico and Central America south to Costa Rica.

It is a small tree growing to 8 m tall. It has hard, cannonball-like fruit 7–10 cm diameter, that are difficult to break into. It is believed that these fruit characteristics evolved as a defense mechanism against seed predation. However, it seems to be a counter-productive strategy, as the seeds inside the fruits never germinate unless the fruits are broken open, and with the exception of horses and humans, no animals break open the fruits.
It has been observed that domestic horses may smash the fruit with their hooves and eat the pulp and seeds (suggesting that they may serve as seed distribution vectors).
The seeds are edible and high in protein with a licorice-like sweet taste, used in Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua to make a kind of horchata called Semilla de Jicaro.[3] 
(From Wikipedia on 21.7.13) 

 

Pic from Thiruvannamalai -Crescentia cujete -Monksbowl tree : Attachments (1). 5 posts by 5 authors.

Attached picture of Crescentia cujete taken on 03-10-2008 at Ramana Ashram,Thiruvannamalai, Chennai, India.
It is also called as ‘Monksbowl tree’ as bhuddist monks used the half cut fruit as a bowl.

Is it Avocado?


The beggar’s bowl tree. One can see beautiful specimen of this tree in Agri- horticulturte society campus, CHENNAI


I believe this is Crescentia alata, a closely-related species. The foliage makes a distinctive winged cross shape.


Thanks,…,
Links for Crescentia alata:
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=CRAL11 (some details with pictures), 


 

[efloraofindia:35721] Crescentia alata : Attachments (2).  2 posts by 2 authors.
Attached are pictures of the flower and leaves of Crescentia alata found at Veermata Jeejabai Bhonsale Udyan, Mumbai
This species (C. alata) differs from C. cujetes in its phyllotaxy. In C. cujetes the leaves are simple and clustered, while in C. alata they are trifoliate.
If anyone lives in Mumbai, this plant is currently in bloom at the zoo and can be located in the area where the land is heavily dug up.


 

help required to identify this tree :  Attachments (2). 8 posts by 5 authors.
These photos were taken in a nursery in Andhra Pradesh, India (Godavari district, Village: Tadepalligudem).
Flowers grow on the trunk itself.
Please help identifying. 


i think this is Crescentia cujete beggar’s bowl tree 


Thank you for quick help.
I think, it looks like C. alata.

Yes they look like Crescentia cujute.

I have never seen the flowers that much dark pink. May be just a variation.

On the net the flowers of Crescentia alata look more closer to the above pictures.


efi pages on Crescentia alata & Crescentia cujete with keys.


According this site on the net Crescentia alata has very peculiar cross-shaped leaves.


It seems to be a good reference. One needs to check the leaves carefully when observing similar tree. Well let me check whether I have a clear picture of the leaves of my recorded specimen posted earlier.


Thank you for your effortless services.
Pictures are of C. alata.



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Night Bloomers : 4 posts by 4 authors. Attachments (2).

Flowers of 2 trees that are usually not seen as they bloom at night. Both trees have colourful and foetid flowers unlike most night blooming plants that have white and fragrant flowers.

1. Crescentia alata flowers are borne directly on the trunk right up to the base. They bloom at 8 pm and emit foul smell to attract pipistrelle bats. A foetid juice is held in a sac at the bottom of the flowers. The flowers fall off by dawn.

…………………….


Informative post and Beautiful photographs.


Really great observation, thanks … for sharing this interesting information with beautiful pictures…


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TSPNOV2015-19:images of Crescentia cujete (Bignoniaceae) : 15 posts by 5 authors. Attachments (6)
It is my pleasure to share few images of Crescentia cujete (Bignoniaceae
Habit: Medium sized tree
Habitat: Cultivated.
Sighting: Devarayanadurga, Tumkur, Karnataka.
Date: 07-07-2014, 10-11-2014, 14-06-2015 and 5-10-2015


very nice. would love to see pictures of the fruits after they develop. when young and then old. if you happen to go there again


This should be C alata looking at leaves and flowers. Please check.


In view of the remarks of … you may please check for C.alata also.   

Crescentia alata is similar to Crescentia cujete except that both fruits and flowers are smaller as per toptropicals.comhttp://toptropicals.com/catalog/uid/Crescentia_alata.htm


That’s interesting, … I share your views and appreciate the reference link but i also wonder….

how does one compare the fruit and flower sizes in one tree specimen ?

would we need a set of samples? like the   toptropical nursery owners do, they have lots of trees growing in their nursery …

this is always a conundrum when we see one tree.

Also the mayan civilization, that used these trees for domestic use..
have both wild and domesticated populations and in that there is marked difference in genetic variation with end result  in the habit, ;leaves and fruits being of different sizes and characteristics etc
1: http://www.researchgate.net/publication/225691620_Diversity_of_the_calabash_tree_%28Crescentia_cujete_L.%29_in_Colombia
so how do we know if we are seeing  offspring of a wild vareity or offspring of the domesticated variety
may be … can give us an opinion? please …?

The uploaded image matches with the image and description of Crescentia cujete  in Flowers of India website. 

http://www.flowersofindia.net/catalog/slides/Calabash%20Tree.html 


Your remarks ‘How does one compare the fruit and flower sizes in one tree specimen’  is most appropriate. I concur with your views. I think one need to check all the taxonomic characters of the species using the flora and  key for the genus. This can be done only by the person who has posted the picture  and has access to the specimen. You have also taken trouble to make appropriate references on the taxa. Very helpful.


Thanks … for the feedback. I will certainly revisit the specimen and try to determine what exactly it is. 


i agree with you that your picture matches as you suggested but since this is not “native” to india
many questions arise, mostly theoretical for an armchair botanist like me
the two links i have sent in were very intriguing

It seems its analogous to the domestication of dogs from their wild species and thought provoking
domestication versus wild
may be that’s what has happened to us … the homo sapiens sapiens of our ilk  versus the wild ones that we still occ find in the amazon basin, andaman and australian outback… they are all homo sapiens sapiens
we got domesticated and look different. interesting biological questions. a tree, a dog and now humans… etc etc
just because  of this one tree with interesting flower and fruit
please keep showing us the wonderful specimen. i always look forward to them


Analysed many images that I had taken with reference to the link… /species/a—l/b/bignoniaceae/crescentia….in the efl page. Though the leaves exhibit marked variability in being both simple and trifoliate, they are predominantly tifoliate with prominently winged petioles as could be seen in one of the uploaded images. Further the maroon-streaked flowers point towards Crescentia alata…! But I am given to understand that C.alata and C.cujete interbreed…!?


Crescentia alata Kunth


Thanks …, for ID confirmation


… shared some of the photos of Crescentia alata (though he wrote C. cujete).
I had some photos on 17/7/2013, and they were of C. alata.
Now, I would like to provide some of the photos of Crescentia cujete.
Hope, this will help to compare C. cujete and C. alata.
Attachments (7)


 

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Crescentia cujete L. : 1 post by 1 author. Attachments (1)
Bignoniaceae tree from GKVK garden, Bengaluru


Crescentia alata as per http://file.scirp.org/Html/2-2600757—11_32719.htm


 

Calabash Tree-180111 – RK: Bot. name – Crescentia cujete. Family – Bignoniaceae. Pics taken on 16/01/11 in Lalbagh Botanical garden, Bangalore. This was the only flower on the tree – last of the season i guess.


–  Watch for the fruits and take photographs.  The tree is commonly called beggar’s bowl tree,  as the big sized fruits were dried and the outer hard shell was used for alms ( as beggar’s bowl).  I will upload the photographs of  fruits hanging from the trunk,  after searching from my archives. Beautiful specimens are seen in the Chennai Agri- horticulture society.


– Yes commonly known as  Calabash Tree


– Here are some pictures of Calabash tree from Bangalore.Taken in Nov 2010.


– Is this fruit edible ?.  Recently I found this type of tree with fruits in front of a house at Sasthamangalam, Trivandrum, Kerala


– Same from my archive. It’s marathi name is Kamandalu


– correct me if I am wrong but the the species shown by … and … appears to be Crescentia alata.
Thank you all for sharing these beautiful pictures… If anyone in Mumbai wants to see the Crescentia alata ,at present one in Colaba Woods has many fruits.


– Hindi: Vilayati bel
Tam: Tiruvottukkay

Not known about fruits eaten as such, but definitely used in medicine as diuretic, asperient and febrifuge. The fruit shell takes a fine polish and used like a utensil. Sap was earlier used to dye silk black. Seeds yield an
oil similar to groundnut oil.

– I am uploading the photographs of fruits of beggar’s bowl. Photos taken during Feb 2008.  Place Agri-Horti Society, Chennai. This has a reference to an earlier mail / discussion on this tree.


Crescentia alata as per http://file.scirp.org/Html/2-2600757—11_32719.htm


 

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Lalbagh – during premonsoon showers ….Cresentia Cujete: Lalbagh, after a rainy day ….

Cresentia Cujete from Bangalore
Kannada: Sanyasi bakkare (meaning Mendicant potsherd) (A potsherd occasionally is used for parching seeds etc., and as a lid)
May 2011
Origin:Trop. America


In Mumbai it is called ‘kamandal‘–the sadhu’s water bowl–or rather in modern terminology a water bottle!1


In kannada it is said to be BHIKSHA PATRE


Like in earlier discussion i said about the common names, here is one more example “Water bottle”
Begger’s bowl turned to be Water bottle… 


Crescentia cujete – Calabash Tree – 200312 – RK: Crescentia cujete – all pics [except for the first single flower
image- Lalbagh  – 16-01-11 at 10.30am ] taken in Raman Research Institute, Bangalore on 06-03-2012 around 4.45 pm.  Also called Beggar’s Bowl on account of the fact mendicants used the dried fruit halves to collect alms. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1bXYDE_HfEitMJKIs8wFZq2sHc3pSoV38b89r_2Gt1ds/edit 


Crescentia cujete – Calabash Tree – 230312 – RK: Here for the umpteenth time are pics of C.cujete. First pic is of flower taken in Lalbagh Botanical gardens, Bangalore taken on 16-01-2011 at 10.30 am. The rest of the pics have been taken in Raman Research Institute,B angalore at4.30 pm. … please let me know if you have been able to view it this time.

 

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efloraindia: 281011 BRS 88:  Pl. find the attached file contain photos of Calabash tree (Crescentia cujete) from NBNP Garden.


Yes. Beggar’s bowl . Beautiful specimen can be seen in Chennai Horticulture Society garden.


Crescentia alata as per http://file.scirp.org/Html/2-2600757—11_32719.htm


 

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Cresentia cujete – Calabash Tree (Bignoniaceae): The Calabash Tree. at Lalbagh

Came across this marvelous, intriguing tree one sunday, beautiful waxy flowers borne on the trunk followed by luscious green apple- looking fruit!


Nice catch of Beggar’s bowl tree !


Crescentia alata as per http://file.scirp.org/Html/2-2600757—11_32719.htm


 

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Trees of Lalbagh, Bangalore – Crescentia cujete – Gourd Tree:  The Calabash tree is a small tree of multiple uses, originating from tropical America, now widely distributed in the tropics.  
The calabash tree grows to 30 feet often with multiple trunks. The rangy twisting branches have simple elliptical leaves clustered at the nodes. The greenish-yellow flowers are marked with purple veins. The flowers arise from the trunk or main branches and appear from May through January. The woody fruit, botanically a capsule, is elliptic, ovate, or spherical and may grow to 10 inches in diameter. The fruit takes up to seven months to ripen.  
Fibers from the calabash tree were twisted into twine and ropes. The hard wood made tools and tool handles. The split wood was woven for sturdy baskets. But it was the calabash’s gourd-like fruit that made the plant truly useful. Large calabashes were used as bowls and, peculiarly, to disguise the heads of hunters. 

Here we call it as Beggars bowl tree


Very nice photos.
Family : Bignoniaceae


Crescentia alata as per http://file.scirp.org/Html/2-2600757—11_32719.htm


 

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Bignoniaceae Week- Calabash tree (Crescentia cujete) from Coimbatore BRS5:  Sharing the images of Calabash tree (Crescentia cujete) from Coimbatore.


Bignoniaceae Week :: Crescentia cujete, L. <=> Gourd Tree – Bangalore – RA:  The Calabash tree is a small tree of multiple uses, originating from tropical America, now widely distributed in the tropics.
The calabash tree grows to 30 feet often with multiple trunks.
The rangy twisting branches have simple elliptical leaves clustered at the nodes. The greenish-yellow flowers are marked with purple veins.
The flowers arise from the trunk or main branches and appear from May through January.
The woody fruit, botanically a capsule, is elliptic, ovate, or spherical and may grow to 10 inches in diameter. The fruit takes up to seven months to ripen.
Fibers from the calabash tree were twisted into twine and ropes. The hard wood made tools and tool handles. The split wood was woven for sturdy baskets. But it was the calabash’s gourd-like fruit that made the plant truly useful. Large calabashes were used as bowls and, peculiarly, to disguise the heads of hunters.

Bignoniaceae Week :: Crescentia cujete : Calabash Tree : Mumbai : 080113 : AK:  Calabash Tree photographed at Jijamata Udyan, Mumbai.



Bignoniaceae Week:: Crescentia Cujete from Calicut Kerala: Crescentia Cujete from Calicut Kerala

This Tree was shot near Malabar Botanical Garden
Pls Validate


Photos of Cresentia cujete at FOI are of Crescentia alata as per http://file.scirp.org/Html/2-2600757—11_32719.htm


Thank you for pointing out the error. I have corrected it:
http://www.flowersofindia.net/catalog/slides/Mexican%20Calabash.html
The source of error is attached! 🙂 Attachments (1)



 

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Very interesting fruit : 7 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (3)
Found in Pondicherry Botanical garden.
Crescentia cujete.

Yes, very nice images. 


I think Crescentia alata as per keys & images herein & not Crescentia cujete


It was in the display board.

I will surely check in my  next visit with the Botanical garden.


Crescentia cujete

Beggars bowl

No, … There is a lot of confusion here. I got it corrected in FOI also. It is Crescentia alata as per keys & images herein & not Crescentia cujete


 

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Dattaji Salvi Udyan  Thane

Date: May 5, 2018 … Altitude: about 11 m (36 feet) asl
Crescentia cujete  L.  

I think 


Thank you very much … for the appreciation.

…, many many thanks for your vigilant verification of IDs. Indeed the posted plant must be alata as per keys.


Thanks, …,
This is all because we have images on species page and comparative images on genera and family pages.
It is a long term investment on our time and energy, for ensuring accurate identifications.
Any wrong postings comes to our notice very promptly at least at the time of insertion of the post in efi site.

Thanks …, I am happy to be associated to this group – always has been beneficial to me for the knowledge I seek. 

 

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Crescentia Species for ID : Mumbai : 02MAY19 : AK-3 : 19 posts by 4 authors. Attachments (4)
Crescentia Species seen in a cultivated garden in Mumbai.

For Species id please.


Pl. check comparative images at 


i want to go with Crescentia cujete 

but would like to see the leaves
look at this point of difference from our own page link given by …
quote 
In India, the genus Crescentia L. is represented by two introduced species viz., C. alata Kunth and C. cujete L. These species are planted in many states of India due to their ornamental values.
Key to the Species

a) Leaves trifoliolate; petioles prominently winged; flowers maroon red; fruits globose or pyriform…………………….1. C. alata
b) Leaves simple, undivided; petioles not winged; flowers whitish green; fruits ovoid……………………………………….2. C. cujete
  
end quote 


I could locate a picture of the leaves. Here it is… Hope it helps.
Attachments (1)

seems it is not trifoliolate and it also does not show winged petiole of the leaf. seems is the operative word. so it seems it must be C. cujete


Thanks for your feedback.
Will observe minutely next time I come across a Crescentia Species.

Clearly Crescentia alata Kunth as per


do you see these leaves in … case? i would like to see them too. please. this is from the case in the link we have. the pedical/ pedicel of the trifoliolate leaf is winged and some leaves seem to be single




i did

I did that’s why i like to see the three leaves and the winged petiole, which i don’t see in this case. may be its just not obvious to my eyes


I can clearly see it in top left portion. 

8th of July,08 at the Jijamata Udyan, at Byculla in Mumbai; At Lonavala, Maharashtra– 17 Jan, 2010;  Calabash Tree – efloraofindia | Google Groups Kamandalu – indiantreepix | Google Groups Crescentia – efloraofindia | Google Groups


 

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Dattaji Salvi Udyan  Thane

Date: December 12, 2019 … Altitude: about 11 m (36 feet) asl
Crescentia alata (L.) Willd. … family: Bignoniaceae  

very good. do you have leaves

They are in a earlier post, of the same plant.


Ok, thanks.  there is one unique config which i have not seen yet in trees i was following. so thanks. something i would need to keep an eye out for


 

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MS/3/2020/4 : ID of the plant Crescentia alata. : 11 posts by 4 authors. Attachments (2)
Please confirm the ID of the plant photographs received from Chennai.

Suggested ID: Crescentia alata (as per the key in efloraofindia)
Photographs sent as received. Sorry for the bad picture quality.


Yes, …

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