Crescentia cujete L., Sp. Pl. 2: 626 1753 (syn: Crescentia acuminata Kunth; Crescentia angustifolia Willd. ex Seem.; Crescentia arborea Raf.; Crescentia cujete var. puberula Bureau & K.Schum.; Crescentia cuneifolia Gardner; Crescentia fasciculata Miers; Crescentia latifolia Raf.; Crescentia plectantha Miers; Crescentia pumila Raf.; Crescentia spathulata Miers);
Calabash tree, gourd tree, beggar’s bowl tree, Fakiracha wadga, Kamandalu, Tiruvottukkay (Tamil), Sokeburude (Kannada);
Description: 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.
Distribution: originating from tropical America, now widely distributed in the tropics.
Uses: 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.
The pulp is medicinal in proper hands, can be anti-inflammatory, anti-hypertensive andantibacterial and anti-sclerotic… …. But is also considered to be mutagenic esp for stem cells in bone marrow. So unsupervised uncontrolled home use by non-professionals in not recommended.
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.
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
Bignoniaceae Week : : UD 001 : : Crescentia Cujete CALABASH tree Garden 24 paraganas: 7 images. Crescentia Cujete
This was a small tree about 8 feet tall, and curious greenish cauliflory and fruits.
Common name Calabash, because of gourd like fruits and the dried rind, and is used in similar fashion to traditional gourds.
Originated in tropical Americas, but is widely planted.
The pulp is medicinal in proper hands, can be anti-inflammatory, anti-hypertensive and antibacterial and anti-sclerotic… …. But is also considered to be mutagenic esp for stem cells in bone marrow. So unsupervised uncontrolled home use by non-professionals in not recommended.
Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crescentia
CRESCENTIA CUJETE: Attaching two images of Crescentia cujete. This plant is commonly known as CALABASH TREE. It is known as BILAYATI BEL in Hindi. I have seen quite a number of trees of this species at Tezpur ( Assam ). I saw only one tree of this kind at this place,
CRESCENTIA CUJETE : Attachments (1). 1 post by 1 author.
Attaching an image of flower of Crescentia cujete. In an earlier post I have attached images of leaf/fruit of the same species.
Crescentia cujete from Dr Naresh Pancholi : 2 posts by 1 author. Attachments (7)
Now, I would like to provide some of the photos of Crescentia cujete.
Hope, this will help to compare C. cujete and C. alata.
ID request : 5 posts by 4 authors. Attachments (3)
Location- Place, Altitude, GPS- Alipur Zoo, Kolkata
Habitat- Garden/ Urban/ Wild/ Type – Urban
Plant Habit- Tree/ Shrub/ Climber/ Herb- Tree
Height/Length- 15 Feet
Leaves Type/ Shape/ Size- Obovate, around 8-10 inches
Inflorescence Type/ Size- Large single bell shaped flower yellowish with flesh color veins
Flowers Size/ Colour/ Calyx/ Bracts- 2-3 inches
Fruits Type/ Shape/ Size Seeds- not seen
Other Information like Fragrance, Pollinator, Uses etc.- probably not fragnant
Crescentia … most probably C. cujete.
Thanks a lot … It is indeed Crescenti cujete. The Trees of Calcutta (1946) has a mention of this tree “…several specimens may be seen in the Zoo…”. Not sure if this individual is surviving from 1940’s!
yes to both of your and … dx, calabash tree. most likely not from benthill’s time, though seems mature and healthy older trees would be 25 to 30 feet tall . this one and one in vic mem grounds are relatively young. zoo one seems in better shape, based on your pic of its stem.
gets beautiful cualiflory, green flowers and green fruits
Crescentia Species for ID : Nasik : 05MAY19 : AK-6 : 11 posts by 4 authors. Attachments (2)
This is one more Crescentia Species I had seen in Nasik.
Planted in a cultivated garden.
Pl. check with images at
these are leaves of C. cujete. i just took some more pictures yesterday of the tree i showed earlier. earlier submission was: in 2010. newer pictures will take a week or more to process. i will submit them then.
…, any flowers on this tree yet?
There were no flowers on the tree when I clicked the above pictures. But last year in August, I had seen a fallen flower at the same location. Adding it.
great. green flower. they can have red, violet or even pink coloration or streaks. did you pick it up try to look inside, ie opened it?
No I did not pick it up. Post rains, there was a lot of grass growing everywhere and lots of mosquitoes. I just had a quick round and came out. It was not very comfortable.
Need some non botany wisdom hence you are all in the address. sorry to bother you but it would help if those of you who routinely go out to photograph in all kinds of terrains and climates may have collected wisdom.
…, Yes I sympathize. that’s usually my fear for going to gardens this time of the year but that’s in many tropical plants flower. we have lots of mosquitoes and chikungunya and malaria and dengue some encephalitis in the Ganges delta and Japanese encephalitis and some other stuff in Northeast USA esp NY.
I try to use ODOMOS. i wonder if it prevents mosquitoes from landing on the body and clothes or if it only prevents itching? like a local anesthetic. No body seems to know
not even dermatologists i spoke with here.
Spraying clothes with DEETS in NY seems to work up to a point
American CDC provides instructions
Wonder if … or all those intrepid souls would have some wisdom to share. I will add them in recipient here and see
I believe using oils, or creams like odomos, etc. ward off mosquitoes / insects, and do not act as local anaesthetic agents. In my experience, these do not protect for long, because they wear off due to our sweating / rain / etc. They need to be applied several times.
Yes. I used to always carry and apply odomos to good effect.
tree for id : 3 posts by 2 authors. 3 images.
i am very eager to know about this plant
please will you suggest me the botanical, hindi and gujarati name of this plant as well as its medical use too……
Welcome, … It should be Crescentia cujete L.