Calabash Tree Facts: How To Grow A Calabash Tree
How To Grow A Calabash Tree?
A calabash tree is a coniferous tree native to Mexico and Central America. They are found growing along rivers or streams and are often found near waterfalls. There are many different kinds of calabashes, but all have one thing in common; they produce fruits with seeds inside them. These seeds must be removed before eating because they contain poisonous substances. Black calabash trees are the most popular species in cultivation due to their large size and easy to grow.
Black Calabash Trees:
The black calabash (Erythrina cuneata) is a very popular species of tree in cultivation worldwide. It is a medium-sized tree with a trunk up to 20 feet tall and 10 feet wide. Its leaves are small, oval and dark green. The bark is light brown to grayish tan.
The branches may reach 30 feet in length and 15 feet in width. The fruit of the black calabash tree grows from its base into a cone-shaped cluster at the top of the tree. Each cluster contains between six and ten berries, each of which contains around two grains of sand. The color of the calabash tree berry is either a deep purple or black.
Where Is It From?
The black calabash tree originates from Mexico and Central America. The Aztecs called it izcuinapan, which means “a place where the land ends.” During ancient times it was believed that the calabash tree had magical powers and could predict the future. It is a popular ornamental tree in gardens and landscapes. In some parts of Mexico and Central America, the seeds are eaten after being dried, cooked, or roasted.
What Does It Taste Like?
The fruits of the black calabash tree are very high in anti-oxidants and other nutrients that are good for human health. They have a very sweet flavor and can be eaten raw or cooked into jellies or jams. Black calabash fruit is most widely used in baking cakes and other desserts. Its seeds are toxic and should not be eaten.
Where Can It Be Grown?
The black calabash tree requires full sunlight and grows best in hot, dry climates. It can survive in temperatures as low as 5 degrees but will die if the temperature drops below 0 degrees. It grows best in well drained soil that is rich in humus. During the summertime it requires frequent watering.
How Is Black Calabash Fruit Used?
Black calabash tree fruit can be eaten raw, cooked into jams or jellies, or baked into cakes. It is most commonly used to make preserves. It is also used to make wine and brandy. The wood of the black calabash tree cannot be used as a fuel or for making tools or furniture because it is too soft.
Sources & references used in this article:
Diversity of the calabash tree (Crescentia cujete L.) in Colombia by J Arango-Ulloa, A Bohorquez, MC Duque… – Agroforestry Systems, 2009 – Springer
The gourd book by CB Heiser – 1993 – books.google.com
The pattern of colonization of epiphytes on Calabash Trees (Crescentia alata HBK.) in Guanacaste Province, Costa Rica by RI Yeaton, DE Gladstone – Biotropica, 1982 – JSTOR
Coevolution between bats and plants by ER Heithaus – Ecology of bats, 1982 – Springer