Calabash, White-flowered gourd (Eng.), Kalbas (Afr.)
Vigorous annual herb with spreading or climbing stems that are brittle, thick and softly hairy. The simple, medium sized leaves have short, soft hairs and are either egg-, kidney- or heart-shaped. The solitary, monoecious (male and female flowers on one plant) flowers have five petals and are either cream or white, with pale yellow at the base. The fleshy, densely hairy to smooth fruit is sub-globose to cylindrical, flask-shaped or globose with a constriction above the middle. The fruit is green, maturing to yellowish or pale brown with the pulp drying out completely upon ripening, leaving a thick, hard, hollow shell with almost nothing inside except seeds. The many, small seeds are embedded in a spongy pulp and are compressed, with two flat facial ridges, in some variants rather irregular and wrinkled.