Inventory, 18lbs : 0
This item was last sold on : 11/17/17
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While usually small, ornamental gourds can range in size from the size of a chicken egg to gourds that are a foot in length and five inches in circumference. They come in an array of colors and color combinations including shades of green, orange, cream, and bicolor. They often have stripes, spots and/or varying splotches of color. The gourd surface may be warted, horned or smooth. Ornamental gourds are not edible as they have very little flesh and are grown mainly for show. The flesh they do contain is rather tasteless and may even be bitter.
Ornamental gourds are available in the fall.
A member of the Cucurbitaceae family the ornamental gourd is scientifically classified as Cucurbita pepo, variety ovifera meaning "egg bearing". There are several different varieties of ornamental gourds that are grown today such as crown of thorns, pear, egg, spoon, and warties.
Ornamental gourds are generally used for fall decorative purposes such as a centerpiece or mantel display. They can be displayed as is or coated with a shellac to enhance their colors and add a sheen to their skin. The exterior of gourds can also be carved or burned with a design using special tools. In displays they pair well with pumpkins, ornamental corn, wheat stalks, ivy and autumn leaves.
In addition to decorative purposes ornamental gourds were commonly used in the Americas for some time as a darning egg for mending socks.
Ornamental gourds are native to the New World and are believed to have been present there prior to the arrival of humans. Botanical evidence theorizes that cultivated squashes and pumpkins belonging to Cucurbita pepo were domesticated first in Oaxaca, Mexico approximately 8,000-10,000 years ago. Gourds typically mature in late summer, at which point its stem will be brown and shriveled. They are then cleaned and dried for about a month in a warm, dry and dark space.
People have spotted Ornamental Gourds using the Specialty Produce app for iPhone and Android.
Produce Spotting allows you to share your produce discoveries with your neighbors and the world! Is your market carrying green dragon apples? Is a chef doing things with shaved fennel that are out of this world? Pinpoint your location annonymously through the Specialty Produce App and let others know about unique flavors that are around them.