Climbing Okra Seeds

I am missing several addresses from my Luffa acutangula seeds request list.

John Presteridge? Kevin Kellher? Alley the Homeschooler?

Curtis Wilkinson. Did your vines ever flower? Do you need seeds?

Susan Evans, did your old seeds germinate or should I send more?

Nadine Brissey, how did your vines do?

If you want to privately share address, send to

I will be posting on turning these giant pods into sponges later. Stay tuned.


Night time with a Vine

I went out and sat under the climbing okra vine last night waiting for the moths.

The ants have the day shift. The moths have the night shift.

These flowers glow as the sun goes down, beacons for its pollinators.

Moths come to the blooms.

The female blooms produce a long pod.

These can get over a foot long.

The seeds look like watermelon seeds .

The fruit tastes like okra.

It’s large pods can be dried to make luffa sponges, thus its name Luffa acutangula.

What an interesting, multi-purpose plant.

Flower grows food, too.

Eating Luffa

I finally collected enough Climbing Okra (Luffa acutangula) to cook a batch.

I saved the large pods for seed. (Don’t panic people.)

First wash the pods.

Remove the ends and cut the rest into sections.

Toss the pieces in cornmeal.

Fry in oil.

Drain and put in a pan on paper towels.

It smells like okra. It tastes like okra. But it’s luffa.

Delicious to eat and lovely to grow.

Next post will be more about the vine.


Climbing Okra Again

Of all my posts about all my plants, who knew Climbing Okra would be the biggest hit?

Maybe it is that I offered seeds to my readers. (No more requests please.)

I am two years behind on my list for Luffa acutangula seeds.

Last year’s pods were feasted on by a tiny mouse.

I found it with its bottom sticking out of my largest pod.

I had to start two different sets of seeds this spring.

I planted the seedlings in three different locations.

I finally have a few pods big enough to eat.

No worries John P, Kevin K , Alley and Susan E , these first fruits will be saved for seed.

(You four can email your address to Nobody else please.)

I will let these pods get about a foot long, take them in to dry, then separate the seeds.

I will mail these out in October. No swaps or payments needed. I like to share.

All these gorgeous flowers in my garden and my most sought after plant is a luffa!


( I may post about the ants later. I must do more research first.)

Climbing Okra in August

I searched for my old “Climbing okra” seeds to grow some again for one of my readers.

It has many other names such as Chinese okra, Egyptian cucumber and Vietnamese luffa.

Its scientific name is Luffa acutangula.

Yesterday evening, I noticed the blooms.

They do almost glow in the dark.

Bumble bees were busy zooming from bloom to bloom.

They were moving so fast that I could barely get a photo.

There are some tiny fruits, too.

I need to wait outside at dusk and see if the moths come like last time.

Thank you, Curtis Wilkinson,  for prompting me to grow these again.

I am not sure how long these old seeds would have stayed viable.

I mailed out some seeds to other readers. I hope that yours have grown as well.

Hopefully these little okra/luffas will produce some more seeds for me.

Luffa acutangula, climbing okra fruit


Climbing Okra

Years ago some friends at church, the Howards,  gave me a bag of seeds. They called them Climbing Okra seeds, but the seeds were black and shaped like small watermelon seeds. I asked them later if I had been given the wrong bag. They assured me that they had shared the intended seeds.

I planted them and was amazed at the vines that grew all over our trellis. There were lovely, glowing, yellow flowers that opened in the evening and fruit that did look and cook like okra.

Luffa acutangula vine flowering.
Luffa acutangula vine flowering.

So what is this mysterious vine of mine?

It is Luffa acutangula. Also know as Chinese okra or edible gourd.  It is kin to the cucumber. It’s yellow blossoms open in the afternoon. They seem to glow as the sun goes down.

climbing okra bloom and a moth
climbing okra bloom and a moth

There are separate male and female flowers. These are pollinated by moths and possibly ants. I have photos of both, busily moving from flower to flower.

Mad moth disturbed while drinking at flower
Mad moth disturbed while drinking at flower

Moth on female flower and ants on male cluster
Moth open flower and ants on cluster(right)

vines in a 004vines in a 002

Each joint of the vine has one leaf, one tendril to grab and climb, one small cluster of male flowers and one female flower on its own stalk.

The fruit gets long in a hurry. Last year, I was surprised by foot-long “okra” hiding among the foilage.

The fruit is best picked at about 6-8 inches. You can leave it and see how big it gets.
The fruit is best picked at about 6-8 inches. You can leave it and see how big it gets.

I look forward to picking a batch and frying them up in cornmeal.

Frying some Luffa/Climbing Okra
Frying some Luffa/Climbing Okra

Luffa on the table.
Luffa on the table.

In the meantime, I’ll enjoy the glowing flowers with the moths and ants.

Follow the Flower!