comes from the loofah gourd
of the Cucurbitaceae
family, and is the only plant
known that can be raised and used as a sponge
. It grows annually and produces vine
s from 12 to 20 feet high, with dozens of gourds per plant. When the gourd is fully mature, the dried outer shell can be peeled off to expose the fibrous sponge, which is actually the skeleton
of the fruit
of the plant.
Loofah sponges are useful in exfoliating and invigorating skin as well as washing and scrubbing dishes. Loofah sponges should be moistened before using on your skin unless a sandpapered or burned look is desired. The sponge is very appropriate to use if you have rough skin around the knees for some reason.