Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Angled Luffa Life Cycle

Angled luffa is also known as Chinese Okra but in my native tongue it is known as petola or ketola segi. When I did some googling in Japan its name is hechima. But I never saw one in any Niigata prefecture market or maybe did not notice it. I enjoyed growing angled luffa very much last summer because I don’t have to look after it and it thrive in Adelaide summer. Contrary to belief in temperate region, angled luffa grows really fast and produce within 8~10weeks. Angled luffa also grows very well in container. Angled Luffa likes mild weather. To my surprise, our angled lufffa managed to produce until end of May (end fall). The last angled luffa fruit produce when the weather day average temperature was 18 degree Celsius. Newly sprouted angled luffa seeds. Similar looking with cucumber seedling because they belong to the same cucurbit group.

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Angled luffa first set of true leaves. I have a habit of planting seeds and forget to label them. So this is for future reference so I can differentiate it with cucumber.When I do label them but my sons like to collect the label like sticks.

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More growth. Although angled luffa is said to be heat-loving vegetable. They will prefer a little bit of shade if you have really hot summer or grow them which receive only morning sun.DSC09871

We put on clothes for our angled luffa fruit during very hot weather. They grow much better. This also help predator to hide on the look out for their favourite snack (pest).

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Angle luffa flesh is like sponge. When you cook it in stir-fry or soup, angled luffa absorb the flavour easily.  Although when you touch the skin it is hard, the flesh inside is very soft.

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I have also noticed that unlike cucumber, summer and winter squash that we were growing, angled luffa is not easily susceptible to powdery mildew when we had damp weather. Our little inspector inspecting weather this angled luffa is ready to be harvested for its seeds.

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When the seeds are ready to be collected, you could hear rattling sound when you shake the dried fruit.

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Okra has five chambers when you slice it. But angled luffa looks like it has 3 chambers. Have to cut more to make sure whether this is true or not next time.

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73 seeds were inside this dried angled luffa pod. More than enough for next planting. Angled luffa fibre is really coarse and tough in dried state. No wonder it was use to make soles for beach sandals. Will test it as a sponge for washing the dish.

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21 comments:

tina said...

Little inspector is so cute! Isn't it fall down there? Your crops still look so good!

mahfudz mn said...

I really enjoy your 'life cycle post'! When my aquaponic system is matured enough I think I'll do the same as well.

Mark Willis said...

But can you eat it? If so, how?

Why I garden... said...

Really interesting seeing your okra plant from start to finish and the seeds as well. Great!!

Charmcitybalconygarden said...

that's really cool! We buy the dried sponges...so that's great that you are growing them!

africanaussie said...

I love how you grow them on that circle - they must look great hanging down from there. I have one that climbed my happy plant next door and has been hanging about fifty feet in the air - I wonder when it will fall? I only eat them when they are very little and the skin is still soft, then they taste very much like a zuchini.

Malar said...

Good post! Your little inspector is really cute!
I have planted angle luffa too but so far no single fruit.....only flowers.. the other day i saw small fruit but it's yellowing....sigh...

cikmanggis said...

sponge dia ada dijual di kedai ubat Cina untuk buat gosok mandi dan mencuci pinggan mangkuk..dulu Cm simpan banyak sponge tu hingga dapat agih-agihkan pada kawan-kawan.

Cat-from-Sydney said...

MKG dear,
Our fav dish with petola is to boil it in coconut milk with suhun and fucuk, a little bit of ikan bilis or dried shrimp. Then serve with hot white rice and sambal belacan and some fried ikan kering. Oh no....am drooling now. purrr....meow!

Mrs Bok - The Bok Flock said...

When we go to KL I'm going to ask my relatives to cook me luffa! I'm sure I've never had it. Your kids are so cute...

rainfield61 said...

Angled luffa fibre is used for dish washing too.

Sue@G.L. Allotments said...

Dressing up your vegetables that's new to me.

Leovi said...

Beautiful photos with the sequence of this interesting plant life. Greetings.

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

Tina~Oh the angled luffa season is over. I just document its life cycle so I won't forgot. Just finished harvesting its seeds.

Mahfudz mn~I enjoy observing each plant life-cycle. Reproduction is always close to my research project. Good Luck with your aquaponic systems.

Mark~ You can eat them. They are substitute for zucchini in the tropics. If anyone is not fond of nutty flavor they can change it to angle luffa as it is not nutty like zucchini or pattypan squash. Moreover, it is more resistant of powdery mildew. Very delicious in soup and stir-fry.

Kelli~It was fun to grow them.

Charmcitybalconygarden~Nothing beans natural sponge. Environmental friendly.

africanaussie~They do climb really high in the tropics aren't they and bountiful too. What a sight!

Malar~Maybe it wasn't pollinated enough. The tricky thing I found is angled luffa bloom only open less than 24 hours. Our female like to open in late afternoon which is the time where bees are heading back to their home.

Cikmanggis~ Bestnya banyak sponge....hehehe...nanti tau nak cari kat mana.

Cat-from-Sydney~Oh ni boleh buat tambah banyak kali.

Mrs Bok~I think they will be happy to cook it for you.

Rainfield61~A very useful plant this angled luffa. It helps washing the dishes too.

Sue~Its common in the tropics to dress up fruits with newspaper to hide it from pest.

Leovi~Thanks for visiting.

Eliza @ Appalachian Feet said...

I love the "clothes" on your luffa fruits, very good idea. I wonder if I could do something like that on my other cucurbits to keep the pickleworms away. It might not be worth the labor for the number of plants I have, though.

Jody said...

Thank you for our first introduction to angled luffa. I have no idea where to find seeds, but if I could, I'd try to grow it, even right here is South Central, Pennsylvania.

Stephanie said...

Thanks for sharing your findings. I love reading all your hands on experiences a lot :-D My first encounter with dried luffa was in Myanmar (about 10 years ago and I can still remember!). I was given one to bring home. Used it for washing like you.

shaz said...

Great photos. I also always forget to label my seeds, now I have a bunch of flower seedlings I have no idea what they are, have to wait and see. Your inspector certainly takes his job seriously! Is that the loofah people use in the shower?

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

Eliza~ You probably have to do a trial on a few plants at first to see whether it works or not. Because we might have different kind of pest. But I notice that spiders really like to stay in this "clothes".

Jody~Perhaps online seeds catalog might have it. I think angled luffa as substitute for zucchini due to powdery mildew.

Stephanie~How long do it last as sponge? I have not tested ours yet.

Shaz~I think the common ones are sponge luffa that does not have ridge. But you can still use dried angled luffa as sponge too.

milka said...

Haven't tried angled luffa before but have been using it as sponge to wash dishes. Like your life cycle post.

Stephanie said...

Sorry I have forgotten how long it could last. But I think it will depend how the sponge is used and maintained. And you can cut to smaller pieces. Have a great week!