VARIETIES: The most frequently asked question is, will a lageneria, (hard shelled gourd), cross with an cucurbit, (ornamental gourds)? The answer is no, the two varieties are genetically incompatible and will not cross pollinate. If this interaction is possible, no one has yet revealed the secret.
LAGENERIA - can be distinguished by their white flowers and fuzzy stems
CUCURBITS — are distinguished by their yellow flowers and usually prickly stems.
LAGENERIA - Night bloomers requiring primarily nocturnal moths and other nocturnal pollinators
CUCURBITS - Daytime bloomers, pollinated primarily by bee’s and other day time pollinators
LAGENERIA - thick shelled gourds, mostly solid in color or lightly marked
CUCURBITS (ornamentals only) - Multi colored, decorative, used as ornamental gourds for decoration.
LAGENERIA - If mature, dry to a nice hard shell, insides can be cleaned out, surface can be scrubbed or scraped clean, (see the Gourd Report Volume 1), leaving a nice hard, (like wood), container that can be decorated or used. Lagenerias will last for years, and in some cases even centuries.
CUCURBITS - while there are a few varieties that have a thick enough shell to preserve and use for artwork, most ornamentals have a thinner shell, and are inappropriate for long term use.
Lagenaria gourds are our primary focus at the Gourd Reserve since these are the artists canvas. This page gives a simple run down of some of the more distinctive and noticable differences between the two families of gourd. Cucurbits are the typical ornamental gourd you see in grocery stores and street side stands during the holloween and Thanksgiving season. Most of these gourds are not seen much beyond this short season because they rot and do not last much longer than this. Lagenarias on the other hand are decorated by many artists and crafts people around the world, and are cherished for years by many people for their beauty and artistic value. A gourd taken care of will last a life time and be can be handed down from generation to generation.
We hope this helps for those who are new to gourding.