Calabash

 
 

Calabash, or calabash-tree, is native to southern Mexico, Central America, the Antilles, and Colombia. It reaches a height of 30 feet, with a trunk 1 foot or more in diameter. The crown is open and irregular. The leaves are up to 7 inches long and appear in groups along the branches. Flowers are up to 2 inches long and develop directly on the trunk or branches. The fruit is 1 foot or more in length and has a hard skin. It flowers and produces fruits throughout the year. Taino indians made bowls and cups from the dry fruit, which is used today to make decorative maracas, bowls, and other crafts. The generic name honors the Italian agronomist Pietro Crescenzi (c.1233-c.1321). The species name derives from a common name for the tree and the fruit.


The photographed tree is northeast of the Department of Band and Orchestra. There are other trees west of Building B and south of the Civil Engineering student parking lot. East of the Chardón Building and west of Building C there are several trees that seem to be hybrids between this and other calabash species.

Crescentia cujete (Bignoniaceae)