Crescentia cujete

Crescentia cujete
Calabash tree (E); Calabaza (C,P); Merique (D); Naba (Cu); Totumo (C,P); Yatuseque (Ch). This species was noted by Columbus in Panama. The seeds are eaten roasted, but the pulp of the mature fruit is dangerous, astringent, emollient, expectorant, and laxative. Cattle that eat the fallen frui9t may suffer abortion. Nonetheless, a tea, made of the cooked pulp of green fruits, is mixed with honey to alleviate childbirth among Chiricanos in Darien. After birth, ashes of chicken feathers are placed on the umbilical scars. Young fruits are pickled like walnuts in Jamaica. In Africa, young leaves are cooked in soups with those of Adansonia. The shell of the fruit is used for utensils by all ethnic groups in Darien (!). In Colombia, halved totumos are called socobe, pilche, and suchamate. Cuna women probably carry more than a thousand calabashes of water a day down the Rio Ailigandi to the dry island of Ailigandi (!). Almost no Darien dugout is without a halved calabash for bailing (!). Stained totumos have been exported to an appreciative Europe for centuries. Around the Caribbean, natives float half-empty totumos at the mercy of the wind. After aquatic birds have become accustomed to the totumos, a hunter comes in with his head in a totumo and his body submerged, and can thus catch the birds. Columbus was once "bombed" with totumos full of washed hot peppers and ashes, which made an effective tear and sneeze gas when they broke. Other Indians used totumos with rocks attached to strings strung across conquistador trails, so that the conquistadores accidentally announced their arrival. Halved totumos serve as suin helmets . They are also used for masks for chamber pots , glasses, jock straps, brassieres, and perforated, for sieves. Chickens have been observed eating the pulp of dry fruits. In San Blas, small totumos are kept over the barbacoas with salt.

EthnoBotanical Dictionary. 2013.

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  • Crescentia cujete — This article is about the tree. For the vine and its fruit, see calabash. For other uses of calabash, see Calabash (disambiguation). Crescentia cujete Scientific classification Ki …   Wikipedia

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  • Crescentia Cujete — Gourd tree Gourd tree (Bot.) A tree (the {Crescentia Cujete}, or calabash tree) of the West Indies and Central America. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Crescentia cujete — Calabash Cal a*bash (k[a^]l [.a]*b[a^]sh), n. [Sp. calabaza, or Pg. calaba[,c]a, caba[,c]a (cf. F. Calebasse), lit., a dry gourd, fr. Ar. qar , fem., a kind of gourd + aibas dry.] 1. The common gourd (plant or fruit). [1913 Webster] 2. The fruit… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Crescentia cujete — ID 22830 Symbol Key CRCU Common Name common calabash tree Family Bignoniaceae Category Dicot Division Magnoliophyta US Nativity Native to U.S. US/NA Plant Yes State Distribution FL, PR, VI Growth Habit Tree, Shrub …   USDA Plant Characteristics

  • Crescentia cujete — noun tropical American evergreen that produces large round gourds • Syn: ↑calabash, ↑calabash tree • Hypernyms: ↑tree • Member Holonyms: ↑Crescentia, ↑genus Crescentia …   Useful english dictionary

  • Crescentia cujete — …   Википедия