Plant Guide > Trees > Catalpas > Black Calabash Tree

Black Calabash Tree

Black Calabash TreeThe Black Calabash Tree (Crescentia cucurbitina, Linn.) is the only other native tree that belongs in the family with the catalpas. The shores of Bay Biscayne, in southeastern Florida, form the outpost of its extensive West Indian and Central American range.

Its flower is a solitary, purplish-yellow tube with a flaring border. The leaf is obovate, leathery, dark green, with perfectly plain margin. The fruit is a berry, 3 or q4 inches long, and shaped like a peach or plum. Its hard, shiny shell encloses many flattish seeds.

The gourd-like fruit of the West Indian calabash tree (C. Cujete, Linn.) is made into drinking-cups and a great variety of culinary utensils. It is much larger than that of the preceding species.