White Gourd/ Ash gourd

White Gourd/Ash Gourd

Scientific name          : Benincasa hispida (Thunb.) Cogn

English names            : Wax Gourd, White Gourd, Ash gourd

Local name                : ‘Chalkumra’







Taxonomic Position According to Cronquist (1988)

Kingdom              : Plantae

Division                : Magnoliophyta

Class                     : Magnoliopsida

Sub-class              : Dilleniidae

Order                    : Violales

Family                  : Cucurbitaceae

Genus                   : Benincasa

Species                  : B. hispada

Botanical Description of White Gourd

Habit: A robust, annual, hispid, climbing herb.

White gourd

Root: Tap root

Stem: Branched, diffuse, having slender tendril.


Figure: Stem Anatomy of White Gourd

Leaf: Leaves reniform-rounded, 10-25 cm long and as broad, deeply cordate, upper surface scabrous, lower

shortly hispid, 5-7 lobed, margin sinuate, dentate, nerves hirsute at lower surface, petioles robust, 5-20 cm long, yellow-brown, hispid, villous.

Inflorescence: Plants monoecious, male flowers solitary, pedicels 5-15 cm long, densely hispid and villous. Bracts ovate or broadly oblong, 6-15 x 5-10 mm, apex acute.

Flower wgourd

Calyx: Tubular 12-15 mm in diameter, densely villose, lobes lanceolate, 8-12 x 3-5 mm.

Corolla: Yellow, lobes 3-6 x 2.5-3.5 cm, both surfaces pubescent.

Androecium: Stamens 3, free, inserted at thecalyx tube, filaments hispid, 2-3 mm long, base expanded, anthers 4 mm long, sub-trilobate.

Female flowers also solitary, pedicels less than 5 cm long, densely yellow-brown, hispid, villous. Ovary ovoid or cylindric, softly hairy, style 2-3 cm long, stigmas 3, 12-15 mm long, 2-lipped. Fruits: Pepo 50-60 x 10-25 cm, fleshy, hairy when young, waxy bloom when mature.


Fruit of gourd

Seeds: compressed, ovoid, yellowish- white, distinctly marginate, 10-12 x 5-7 mm and c 2 mm thick.


Economic Importance: The young and mature fruits are eaten as vegetable. The ripe fruits are cut into pieces and candied with sugar. The seeds are fried and eaten. The fruit is considered alterative, styptic, tonic, nutritive and diuretic. It is also useful for hemorrhages of internal organs and in phthisis.

Table 1. Ash gourd variety developed by BARI, Joydebpur, Gazipur

Sl. No.Name of VarietyDeveloped byGrowing SeasonYield
1BARI  Chalkumra-1HRC, BARIKharif25-30 t/ha



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