Crescentia cujete L.

First published in Sp. Pl. 2: 626 (1753)
This species is accepted
The native range of this species is Mexico to Venezuela, Caribbean. It is a tree and grows primarily in the wet tropical biome. It is used as animal food, a poison, a medicine and invertebrate food, has environmental uses and social uses and for food.

Descriptions

The Useful Plants of Boyacá project

Ecology
Alt. 0 - 1370 m.
Distribution
Native and cultivated in Colombia.
Morphology General Habit
Shrub.
Vernacular
Kalbas, allita.
[UPB]

Bignoniaceae, Sally Bidgood, Bernard Verdcourt, Kaj Vollesen. Cobaeaceae, Bernard Verdcourt. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 2006

Morphology General Habit
Tree to 10 m tall.
Morphology Leaves
Leaves tufted, simple, sessile, obovate-spathulate, 4–26 cm long.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescences 1–2-flowered, borne on trunk or main branches.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Calyx split into two lobes 1.8–2.6 × 1.3–2.4 cm.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Corolla yellow-green, speckled red or marked purple, campanulate, fleshy, 4–7.5 cm long with transverse fold across the tube.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Fruit spherical to ovoid or ellipsoid, 15–30 cm long, (8–)13–20 cm diameter with thin hard shell.
Note
Native to Mexico and North Central America but natural range obscured by very extensive cultivation in tropical America. Cultivated in Kenya: Kwale District: Diani Beach, Kivulini, 25 Feb. 1992, Luke 3075 and Tanzania: Pangani District: Mwera, 15 July 1932, Geilinger 865; Zanzibar, Dunga, Feb. 1929, Greenway H 11/29.
[FTEA]

Bernal, R., G. Galeano, A. Rodríguez, H. Sarmiento y M. Gutiérrez. 2017. Nombres Comunes de las Plantas de Colombia. http://www.biovirtual.unal.edu.co/nombrescomunes/

Vernacular
árbol de mate, calabazo, calabazo candongo, calabazo cimarrón, calabazo de palo, calabazo de pico, camasa, chícaro, chumbo, cubo, cucharito, cucharo, cuya, guan, mata de calabazo, mate, mate totumo, palo de calabazo, palo mate, pilche, puro, sacha, sachamate, sachapuro, sumbo, tapara, tapare, taparo, táparo, totuma, totumbo, totumillo, totumo, totumo calabazo, totumo candongo, totumo cimarrón, totumo cucharo, totumo de palo, totumo grande, totumo mate, totumo pequeño, totumo redondo, túmbilo, tutumo, tutumo redondo
[UNAL]

Bernal, R., Gradstein, S.R. & Celis, M. (eds.). 2015. Catálogo de plantas y líquenes de Colombia. Instituto de Ciencias Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá. http://catalogoplantasdecolombia.unal.edu.co

Distribution
Nativa y cultivada en Colombia; Alt. 0 - 1370 m.; Amazonia, Andes, Llanura del Caribe, Orinoquia, Pacífico, Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Valle del Cauca, Valle del Magdalena.
Morphology General Habit
Arbusto, arbolito, árbol
Conservation
Preocupación Menor
[CPLC]

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/144274257/149042622

Conservation
LC - least concern
[IUCN]

Distribution
Biogeografic region: Amazonia, Andean, Caribbean, Orinoquia, Pacific. Elevation range: 0–1370 m a.s.l. Cultivated in Colombia. Native to Colombia. Colombian departments: Amazonas, Antioquia, Atlántico, Bolívar, Boyacá, Casanare, Cesar, Chocó, Cundinamarca, Huila, La Guajira, Magdalena, Meta, Nariño, Norte de Santander, Putumayo, Quindío, Santander, Sucre, Tolima, Valle del Cauca.
Habit
Shrub, Small tree, Tree.
Conservation
IUCN Red List Assessment (2021): LC.
Ecology
Habitat according IUCN Habitats Classification: forest and woodland, savanna, shrubland, native grassland, wetlands (inland), artificial - terrestrial.
Vernacular
Allita, Caabaza, Calabash tree, Calabaza, Calabazo, Camasa, Camazo, Gourd, Güira, Higüero, Kalbas, Mate, Palo de calabaza, Palo totumas, Poro, Poto
[UPFC]

M. Thulin et al. Flora of Somalia, Vol. 1-4 [updated 2008] https://plants.jstor.org/collection/FLOS

Morphology General Habit
Small tree with flowers on the trunk or larger branches
Morphology Leaves
Leaves simple, clustered at ends of branches, sessile; blades obovate to oblanceolate, 3–26 x 1–7 cm, attenuate at the base, acute to obtuse at the apex, with scales on midrib
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Calyx c. 2 cm long, glandular, with 2-fid tip
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Corolla 3–4.5 cm in diam., dirty white with purplish venation
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Fruits to 30 cm long and 13–20 cm in diam., green
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seeds 7–8 mm long.
Distribution
Cultivated at least in S2. Native of Mexico and central America, sometimes grown as a curiosity in tropical and subtropical regions.
Vernacular
Calabash tree (English).
Note
First record for Somalia.
[FSOM]

Uses

Use Materials Unspecified Materials Chemicals
Infructescences - Fruits used to make musical instruments (Linares 1994). Infructescences - Fruits used to make kitchen utensils (Linares 1994). Infructescences - Fruits used to make vases, flowerpots, animal figures (Linares 1994). Materials (State of the World's Plants 2016).
Use Medicines Respiratory System Disorders
Infructescences - Used in liquid medicines and to make cough syrups (Díaz 2003, Cadena-González 2010).
Use Medicines Unspecified Medicinal Disorders
Medicinal (Instituto Humboldt 2014).
[UPB]

Use Animal Food
Used as animal food.
Use Environmental
Environmental uses.
Use Gene Sources
Used as gene sources.
Use Food
Used for food.
Use Invertebrate Food
Used as invertebrate food.
Use Materials
Used as material.
Use Medicines
Medical uses.
Use Poisons
Poisons.
Use Social
Social uses.
[UPFC]

Common Names

English
Calabash, Calabash tree, gourd
Spanish
Totumo, mate, calabaza, poro, poto, palo totumas, táparo, mate, caabaza, árbol de las calabazas, palo de calabaza, camasa, tecomate, calabazo, üero, güira, camazo, tápara.

Sources

  • Art and Illustrations in Digifolia

    • Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew
  • Catálogo de Plantas y Líquenes de Colombia

    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
  • Colombian resources for Plants made Accessible

    • ColPlantA 2021. Published on the Internet at http://colplanta.org
    • https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
  • Flora of Somalia

    • Flora of Somalia
    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
  • Flora of Tropical East Africa

    • Flora of Tropical East Africa
    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
  • Herbarium Catalogue Specimens

    • Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
  • IUCN Categories

    • IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
  • Kew Backbone Distributions

    • The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Vascular Plants 2023. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and https://powo.science.kew.org/
    • © Copyright 2022 World Checklist of Vascular Plants. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0
  • Kew Living Collection Database

    • Common Names from Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew Living Collection https://www.kew.org/
  • Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone

    • The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Vascular Plants 2023. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and https://powo.science.kew.org/
    • © Copyright 2022 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Vascular Plants. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0
  • Kew Science Photographs

    • Copyright applied to individual images
  • Universidad Nacional de Colombia

    • ColPlantA database
    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
  • Useful Plants and Fungi of Colombia

    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
  • Useful Plants of Boyacá Project

    • ColPlantA database
    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/