Lagenaria siceraria (Molina) Standl.

Last updated: 23 June 2015

Scientific Name

Lagenaria siceraria (Molina) Standl.


Cucumis bicirrha J.R.Forst. ex Guill., Cucumis lagenaria (L.) Dumort., Cucumis mairei H.Lév., Cucurbita ciceraria Molina [Spelling variant], Cucurbita idolatrica Willd., Cucurbita idololatrica Willd., Cucurbita lagenaria L., Cucurbita leucantha Duchesne, Cucurbita siceraria Molina, Cucurbita vittata Blume, Lagenaria bicornuta Chakrav., Lagenaria idolatrica (Willd.) Ser. ex Cogn., Lagenaria lagenaria (L.) Cockerell [Invalid], Lagenaria leucantha (Duchesne) Rusby, Lagenaria microcarpa Naudin [Invalid], Lagenaria vulgaris Ser. [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Labu botol [2], labu ayer puteh, labu jantong, labu kendi [3]
English Bottle gourd, calabash gourd, white-flowered gourd [2], calabash cucumber, calabash, common bottle gourd, dipper, gourd, Hercules’ club, knobkerrie, sugar through gourd, trumpet gourd, white pumpkin [3]
China Hu lu, hu tzu, hu zi, or per [3]
India Alabu, almi-ang-baung, baung-lang-jak, dudhi, har-hak, ikshawaku, katukalabu, khongdrum, lamba, mahaphala, nripatmaja, onka, phalini, rajputri, tiktalabu, tumbika [3]
Indonesia Labu air, labu putih, kukuk (West Java) [2]
Thailand Namtao (Central); manamtao (Northern); khi-Iuu-saa (Karen) [2]
Laos Namz taux [2]
Philippines Upo (Tagalog); tabungaw (Ilocano); kalubay (Bisaya) [2]
Cambodia Khlôôk [2]
Vietnam B[aa] [uf] [2]
Japan Hyô-tan [3]
Tibet Kabed [3]
Papua New Guinea Sel kambang; botol wara [2]
France Calebasse, courge bouteille [2]
North America Wamnuha, wakmu (Dakota) [3]
South America Acocotli, amargo, calabasa, camasa, candungo, caracho, chucna, duchubire, lek, marimbas, marimba, mati, naracos, tula de mate, yumi, xiga baa, xiga riyoo niza [3].

Geographical Distributions

Lagenaria siceraria probably originated in tropical Africa and now has pantropical distribution. It could have been spread by ocean currents to the shores of the New World. More than 10,000 year-old archeologi­cal records of its association with man exist in both hemispheres. It is the only crop known to have been cultivated in pre-Columbian times in both the Old and the New World. [2]

Botanical Description

L. siceraria is a member of the family Cucurbitaceae. It is a monoecious annual vine with a long ribbed stem and strong tendrils. Tendrils are usually bifid with one long and one shorter branch. The petioles are up to 20 cm long. [2]

The leaves are arranged alternate, simple, ovate-kidney-shaped or suborbicular, measure up to 30 cm in diametre, undivided or obscurely 5-9-lobed, dentate, pubescent and musky-scented. [2]

The flowers are axil­lary, solitary, white and measure up to 12 cm in diametre. The sepal is bell-shaped and 5-lobed. There are 5 free petals. The male flowers are on long pedicels which are 5-25 cm long. The stamens are with 3 free filaments and with anthers lightly cohering but not connate. The female flowers are on short pedicels which are 2-7 cm long. The ovary is with 3 placentae and numer­ous ovules. It is completely clothed with white gland-­tipped hairs, with 3 stigmas, thick and bilobed. [2]

The fruit is a pe­po, which is very variable in size and shape, often globular, bottle-or club-shaped, measures up to 1 m long or more and with hard durable rind. Its flesh is white and soft. [2]

The seed is 10-25 mm long, corky, broad and flat, or narrow and two-pronged, whitish or brownish. [2]


L. siceraria can be grown year-round from sea level up to 1600 m altitude, but the veg­etable types are most common in the hot and hu­mid lowlands. It tolerates cool but frost-free tem­peratures. Short days promote flower formation but have no effect on sex expression. Soils should be light and well-drained, and with pH 6-7. [2]

Chemical Constituent

No documentation

Plant Part Used

No documentation

Traditional Use

No documentation

Preclinical Data

No documentation

Clinical Data

No documentation


No documentation

Poisonous Management

No documentation

Line drawing


Figure 1: The line drawing of L. siceraria [2]


  1. The Plant List. Ver 1.1. Lagenaria siceraria (Molina) Standl [homepage on the Internet]. c2013. [updated 2012 April 18; cited 2015 June 23] Available from:
  2. Lagenaria siceraria (Molina) Standl. In: Siemonsma JS, Piluek K, editors. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No 8. Vegetables. Wageningen, Netherlands: Pudoc Scientific Publishers; 1993.
  3. Quattrocchi U. CRC World Dictionary of Plant Names: Common names, scientific names, eponyms, synonyms, and etymology. Volume III E-L. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press; 2012. p. 694.