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Lagenaria siceraria migration – Article

February 27, 2014

Here’s an interesting article about the origins and migration of the Bottle Gourd, or, Calabash (Lagenaria siceraria)… from the  NY Times. A brief snippet below with link to the complete article. 

 

From the New York Times article

Like Columbus, It Floated Here

By RACHEL NUWER

 By the time Columbus arrived in the New World in 1492, bottle gourds had already conquered much of the globe. After evolving in Africa, one species,Lagenaria siceraria, made a break for East Asia around 11,000 years ago and eventually took up residence in Polynesia, China, Peru and beyond, earning the title of most widely distributed pre-Columbian domesticated plant.

The gourds have been supremely useful, too — not so much for nutrition (they taste bitter) but, when dried, as containers, medical and musical instruments, even decorative birdhouses. Despite their ubiquity, though, they have their secrets.

Archaeological evidence shows that ancient peoples living in Florida and Mexico began using them at least 10,000 years ago. Yet how they got to the Americas remained unknown… read complete article at NY Times.com

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. February 27, 2014 10:08:14 pm

    My mum grew an experimental crop of gourds back when I was about 8 (more years ago than I would like to admit here ;) ) and a few of them are still kicking around someplace after being hollowed out and used as recepticles for “stuff”. A most useful and easy to grow crop :)

  2. March 5, 2014 10:08:38 am

    Amazing survivors across the ocean!

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