SelecTree: Tree Detail

CALABASH TREE
Crescentia cujete

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Photo Locations: Lyon Arboretum - Honolulu, HI, LA County Arboretum - Arcadia, CA, San Antonio Botanic Garden - San Antonio, TX, Foster Botanical Garden - Honolulu, HI and Tropical Gardens of Maui - HI

General Notes

The calabash tree, which bears bat-pollinated greenish flowers with purple-brown markings right out of the corky bark (cauliflory), is salt tolerant and drought resistant. Dried fruit, which resemble gourds, are hollowed and used to make musical instruments and small vessels for serving or drinking. This tree was an early horticultural introduction to Hawaii in the early 1800s, and the fruits were filled with Canna seeds and used as a hula rattle. Crescentia cujete has a HPWRA (Hawaii Pacific Weed Risk Assessment) score of -8 (Low Risk).

Native to Central and South America.

Family: Bignoniaceae

Additional Common Names

CALABASH TREE, GOURD, PACKY

Tree Characteristics

Rounded Shape.

Has Evergreen foliage.

Height: 20 - 30 feet.

Width: 25 - 30 feet.

Growth Rate: 12 to 36 Inches per Year.

Leaves Oval, Green, No Change, Evergreen.

Flowers Showy. Green or Yellow. Flowers in Fall, Winter, Spring or Summer. Has perfect flowers (male and female parts in each flower).

Green Capsule, Very Large (Over 3.00 inches), fruiting in Fall, Winter, Spring or Summer.

Bark Gray, Rough.

Shading Capacity Rated as Moderate to Moderately Dense in Leaf.

Litter Issue is Wet Fruit.

Tree Site Conditions & Constraints

Sunset Zones H1, H2.

USDA Hardiness Zones 10 - 11.

Exposure Full Sun.

Well Drained Soil.

Clay, Loam or Sand Texture.

Acidic to Alkaline Soil pH.

Health, Safety & Environmental Concerns

Root Damage Potential Rated as Low.

Special Uses & Values

Specimen, Buffer Strip or Street Tree.

Cite this tree:
SelecTree. "Crescentia cujete Tree Record." 1995-2020. Jun 5, 2020.
< https://selectree.calpoly.edu/tree-detail/crescentia-cujete >

This tree is not part of the SelecTree Nursery Connection. If you would like to see this tree listed, or know of a nursery that sells it, please contact us at ufei@calpoly.edu.