Speckled Swan Large Gourd

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Speckled Swan Large Gourd

Lagenaria siceraria
(120 days) Open-pollinated. Fairgoers have gawked at these show-stealers, whether in Jack Kertesz’ demonstration gardens or at our booth or in the Hall, for many years, admiring Swan’s beautiful dark green surface with very pale green 1" splotches. Large round 8–10" base tapers into graceful long neck, sometimes straight, sometimes arched, capped by a small bulb near the stem that looks like a swan’s head. Black Benefit Sharing.


1968 Speckled Swan
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Price
A: 1/8oz for $2.25  
sold out
B: 1/4oz for $4.00  
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C: 1/2oz for $7.00  
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Additional Information

Large Gourds

  • About 100-140 seeds/oz.
  • Days to maturity are from transplant.

Originated in tropical Africa.

Culture: Very long season: hardshell gourds must be started indoors 4 weeks before transplanting after last frost. Use row covers and low tunnels to help maturity and reduce insect damage. To improve germination, sandpaper or clip off the radicle end and soak seed. Do not disturb the roots. Vines will grow slowly for a few weeks after transplanting. Once they take off, these rampant crawlers are noted for their enormous foliage, more velvety in texture than that of other cucurbits, and their large white almost luminous night-blooming flowers. Heavy feeders, they will take up huge amounts of garden space unless trellised.

Curing Lagenaria Gourds is Easy

Hardshell gourds are 90% water at harvest. They need to be cured or dried, a slow process of evaporation through the outer shell, which is covered by a thin ivory-green skin. Curing can take 6 weeks to 1 year (average time 4 months) depending on gourd size, thickness of shell, weather and storage conditions.

Immature gourds (that have not developed a thick shell) will rot after harvest. Mature gourds are large and weighty. To cure, store off the ground in a well-ventilated room or unheated outbuilding. For a smooth beige surface, scrape off the outer skin after it loosens and darkens. (Freezing and thawing loosens the outer skin.) Outer skin, if left on, may become moldy; mold-patterned skin will dry to the gourd shell and can be sanded off, painted over or incorporated into the decoration.

Gourds

All gourds are open-pollinated.

Gourds come in two major categories (Luffa is a third). The small ones are Cucurbita pepo var. ovifera, known as ornamental gourds for their variety of shapes, colors and surfaces. These vigorous viners will usually mature in our climate if direct-seeded. The larger ones are Lagenaria siceraria or hardshell gourds, named from the Greek lagenos, ‘a flask,’ and sicera, ‘an intoxicating drink.’ Lagenaria, though lacking the color range of their smaller cousins, fascinate with their magical shapes.

Germination Testing

For the latest results of our germination tests, please see the germination page.