Luffa Sponge

Together with bitter melon, it is also a popular plant to grow outside of a building window during summer, in order to create natural shades to block out the direct sunlight and reduces the amount of heat radiating into a building.

You probably didn’t know that luffa is a tropical cucumber cultivated and eaten as vegetable. The fruit must be harvested at a young stage of development to be edible, and when it’s fully ripened, it is very fibrous. The fully developed fruit is also the source of the “loofah scrubbing sponge” which is used in bathrooms and kitchens all over the globe.

In Japan, it is called hechima is cultivated during summer, and in nansei Islands and Kyushu its eaten, while the other regions of Japan it is predominantly to make sponge, shampoo and lotions.