Crescentia Cujete

Common name: Kalbas di Monde, Kalbas, Calabash tree

Height: 5 to 6 metres

Features: Easy to propagate, the flowers are pollonated by bats (which in turn will eat mosquitoes), The fruits are used to make bowls, cups, jugs, water containers, and other utensils, as well as (often decorated) ornaments and musical instruments.

crescentia cujete kalabas fruit

crescentia cujete kalabas branches

Propagation: Very easy from seeds from the fruit. I often use the pulpy flesh as well when sowing the seeds.
Growing: In garden, often self-seeded in and around Kralendijk. You will also often see it in the wild.

Location: Thrives in full sun or part shade and does not need much water. It will drop the leaves during dry periods

Crescentia cujete kalabas tree

Crescentia cujete is a small tropical evergreen tree. It is particularly noted for its paddle-shaped green leaves. The tubular flowers are light yellowish-brown with flaring lobes and purple interiors. The fruit is large, spherical, gourd-like, yellow-green fruits. Flowers and fruits are both cauliflorus (borne directly on the branches and trunk). Trees typically bloom and fruit throughout the year. It takes about 6 months for a fruit to grow and ripen. Flowers appear singly or in small clusters, have a strong somewhat unpleasant aroma, and are pollinated by bats. Fruits have a tough woody shell containing a pulpy flesh, and are often hollowed out and used as containers. Fruits are also used to make maracas. Long history of herbal medicinal uses.

crescentia cujete kalabas seedlings

Crescentia Cujete seedlings

crescentia cujete kalabas birds