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Crescentia cujete, commonly known as the Calabash Tree, is species of flowering plant that is native to Central, South America, West Indies and southern Florida.[1] It is the national tree of St. Lucia. It is a dicotyledonous plant with simple leaves, which are alternate or in fascicles (clusters) on short shoots.[2] It is naturalized in India.[3]

Crescentia cujete
2014.09-421-196ap calabash tree,bowl Finkoloni,N'Goutjina Cmn.(Koutiala Crc.,Sikasso Rgn),ML fri05sep2014-1016h.jpg
Fruiting branches, and showing bowl made of the hard rind of a fruit of that tree (Koutiala District, Mali, September 2014)
Scientific classification
C. cujete
Binomial name
Crescentia cujete
Crescentia cujete, dry fruit and seeds - MHNT

It is also known as Calabacero (Spain), Cuité (Brazil) Totumo (Panama, Colombia, Venezuela and Peru), Tutumo (Bolivia), Taparo (Venezuela), Mate (Ecuador), Huinga (Peru), Pate (Peru), Cuyabra (Colombia), Jícaro (Mexico, Nicaragua), Morro (Guatemala), Güira (Cuba), Cujete (Spain, Philippines), Miracle Fruit (Philippines), Kalbas (Dominica and St. Lucia), Higuera (Puerto Rico), Rum tree (Sri Lanka) Ugba, Duma and Igba (Nigeria), Đào Tiên (Vietnam).[citation needed]

In Cuba, this tree is known to grow in both disturbed habitat and areas of poor drainage[4]. It can grow up to 10 meters tall[4].

The fruit, called Jícara, Bule, Tecomate, Guaje, Morro or Huacal in Mexico, is used to make small vessels for serving or drinking.[citation needed] In Cuba, the dried fruit is commonly used as a coffee cup by rural farmers.[4] In Western and Southern Africa it is also used for decoration and musical instruments.[citation needed]

The tree shares its common name with that of the vine calabash, or bottle gourd, Lagenaria siceraria).[citation needed]


  1. ^
  2. ^ GENTRY, A.H. 1996. A field guide to the families and genera of woody plants of northwest South America (Columbia, Ecuador, Peru), with supplementary notes on herbaceous taxa. University of Chicago Press. p. 265.
  3. ^ Pharmacographia Indica page 40
  4. ^ a b c Cuba y sus árboles. Fernández Zequeira, Maira., Instituto de Ecología y Sistemática (Academia de Ciencias de Cuba). La Habana: Editorial Academia. 1999. ISBN 9590202527. OCLC 44573671.CS1 maint: others (link)

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