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Gourd

squash fruit gourds genus

Gourd, any of a variety of plants, chiefly vines, of the family Cucurbitaceae, producing fruit known as gourds that are used as food and utensils. The Cucumis genus includes melons (except watermelons), cucumbers, and gherkins (C. anguria); the Cucurbita genus represents winter squash (C. maxima) and summer squash and pumpkins (varieties of C. pepo). Durable-shelled gourds have been used as water carriers, ornaments, resonators of musical instruments, and utensils (ladles, dippers, bowls). The fruit of the loofah (Luffa cylindrica), fibrous in texture, is dried for use as a sponge.

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