Description: Loofah is spelled in several different ways, i.e., Loofah, Luffa or Lufa but is commonly known as the Washrag Gourd. Loofah seeds are planted in late Spring. When the plant is ready for harvest, the loofah vines produce a pretty yellow flower and a fruit that later becomes Loofah. These ripe fruits are green, smooth and look like large cucumbers, reaching 12 to 18 inches in length.
Late fall when the loofah fruit is ready for harvest and picked from the vine, the loofah is submerged in water causing the fruit to expand. Once expanded, the skin is removed and the flesh is washed and laid out to dry.
This inner dried flesh is the raw loofah sponges that are processed into finished products.
Loofah is the only plant known that can be grown and used as a sponge. A distant cousin of the cucumber, loofahs have been cultivated for bath time luxury for hundreds of years. Known for bathing to invigorate the skin as well as gift giving and crafts, the sponges are also versatile in the use of bathing, washing dishware or scrubbing all types of appliances. You can even use natural loofah to wash your car! Natural loofah sponges are of a softer variety than synthetic sponges.