What Is A Gourd?

If you’ve never heard of or seen one, you may be asking yourself, “what’s a gourd?” Gourds are climbing or trailing plants that produce large fruit, and they include our favorite Halloween decoration: the pumpkin! This post gives a little background on gourds, which I love to work with for my art.

Gourd Definition 

Merriam-Webster defines gourds as “chiefly herbaceous tendril-bearing vines including the cucumber, melon, squash, and pumpkin.” What’s important to note here is that there are different types of gourd fruit, including the edible squashes and hard inedible gourds that can be used for art. Usually, we call the edible fruit “squash” and the inedible fruit “gourd.” 

Are Gourds Edible?

Well, it really depends on the gourd. We already talked about the gourds including cucumbers and squashes, and those are obviously edible. But the hard-shell, or hard-rind, gourds, like the ones available on this website, are not edible. These hard-shelled gourds, however, have a long history of being used for cooking tools, toys, sculpture, and musical instruments!


Gourd Types

The hard-shelled gourds come in many different shapes and sizes, which lend themselves to fun creations from nature. The American Gourd Society has a list of gourds with pictures, showing you everything from the Banana gourd to the Hercules Club.

There’s your crash course in decorative gourds. If your curious about how I use this fun, natural medium you can visit my birdhouse collection or cat collection. If you want to buy your own unfinished decorative gourds, we have those for sale too.

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