Beninsas spp., Momordica spp.
Gourds come in three general types: ornamental gourds, utilitarian gourds, and vegetable sponge gourds. Ornamental gourds are brightly colored and oddly shaped, typically used as decoration. The have orange and yellow flowers. Utilitarian gourds are green while growing, and then dry a brown shade. These gourds flower white and are most often used for tools and utensils because of their tough shell. Vegetable sponge gourds have a shell that can be peeled off, revealing a center that can be used as a sponge. These have yellow flowers while growing. Consider training ornamental gourds. If you’re growing ornamental gourds, it is common for growers to train them into interesting shapes and structures. There are two general ways to train the shape of a gourd: bending over time, and by giving it a mold. You can slowly bend parts of a gourd as it grows, if you want a winding snake-like gourd in the end. You can also create a mold for your gourd by placing the small fruit inside a breakable vessel of some sort (like a vase). When the gourd has grown, it will fill the container and match its shape; you simply have to break the mold to remove it when done.