Luffa, or loofah, are amazing climbing plants with lots of bright yellow flowers. They are best known as the source of loofah sponges – planet friendly and compostable - and let well known in the UK as an edible crop. Yes, young luffas are edible: they can be sliced and added raw to salads (as can young luffa leaves) where it gives a mild cucumber-like flavour. When the fruits are gherkin-sized they can be added to stir fry, soups, and sauces because they soak up the flavours and add texture. Chop and add to curries where they will bulk up and cook in a similar way to squashes.
Although they need a long growing season you can get a crop if planted out when frost risk has passed. They can be sown as early as February but for minimum root disturbance sowing indoors in April works well for most. Choose a sunny sheltered wall to help support them of grow in a conservatory, greenhouse or polytunnel.
Price for 6 seeds