Fall is the time to harvest, cure and store ornamental gourds, said University of Missouri Extension horticulturist David Trinklein.
“Gourds are thought to be among the first domesticated plant species, dating back to as early as 13,000 B.C,” Trinklein said.
“Through the years, dried gourds served many purposes – as ladles, birdhouses and luffa fibers used in diverse items such as oil filters, life preservers, scrubbing sponges, hats and upholstery.”
Gourds are members of the cucurbit plant family, which includes squash, melons, cucumbers and pumpkins. Decorative gourds in the genus Cucurbita are small and often colorful.
Lagenaria gourds are large, hard-shelled and used for ladles, spoons, containers, etc.