Luffa cross pollination

shebear(z8 NCentralTex)July 31, 2011

After looking around the web for about an hour, I get conflicting views on whether luffas cross with cucumbers. Purdue University has a page that leads me to believe it doesn't cross with any of the things I have planted in my garden but I'd like to have confirmation on that. Are there any folks out there that can help?

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taxtax

To be honest, I'm not too knowledgeble on cross pollinations, but lately I've been wanting to do specifically that.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 12:28AM
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sitting_boy

I know wikipedia isn't that reliable, but I sometimes look at it in times like this. Supposedly, Luffa fruit are from the genus Luffa, where cucumbers are genus Cucumis which means they should not be able to cross pollinate. That brings up my own question. In most plants different species can cross pollinate right? But animals can't? Or can they?(mule, tigon)I thought the definition of a species was one type of thing that cannot have offspring with another species.

links I used:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luffa
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cucumber

    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 11:26AM
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taxtax

Well, technically you can get a mule from a horse & donkey IIRC :P

    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 11:35AM
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farmerdill

Species do not cross naturally. With some engineering efforts, they can be forced. The only vegetable that I know about is a patented process by Sakata (C.maxima - C.moschata cross) they have released several of these. Most popular is 'Tetsukabuto'. There are two common species of Luffa with many varieties in each group. They will only cross within species unless some genetic engineering takes place. Luffa cylindrica will not cross with anything but Luffa cylindrica. Ditto for Luffa acutangula.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 5:33PM
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shebear(z8 NCentralTex)

Great! Thanks for all the info. That means the community garden will have tons of seeds for next year and to give away since we only planted one type of luffa.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 7:00PM
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taramegos_gmail_com

Hi!
You should invest in the book 'Seed to Seed' by Suzanne Ashworth if you are thinking seriously about saving seeds( it's $15 on amazon). The book is the best in the genre, and gives you everything to know about saving the majority of seeds as well as their history. In the book it says that loofah squash will cross pollinate with other loofah squash (ditto cucumber), but, although they are in the same family, they will not cross with each other. I was wondering the same thing because I planted mine together, and my cucs seem bitter, but I suppose that's because they became dry a couple times (drought and business on my part). Good luck!
Tara

    Bookmark   August 7, 2011 at 5:15AM
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