The immature fruits of domesticated Luffa acutangula (L.) Roxb. are a common vegetable in Asia and India. To learn more about traditional cultivars, accessions were collected from southern Yunnan Province of China, northern Laos, and southeastern Nepal, and assessed for various parameters of genetic diversity. The size and shape of the fruits and seeds varied considerably. A form that we found cultivated only in Nepal bore clusters of small fruits that are produced by hermaphrodite flowers. Plants produced male flowers first, and the first node to bear flowers varied from the second to the twenty-seventh. Twenty-nine allozyme loci were assayed. Within L. acutangula one allozyme locus was polymorphic. Luffa acutangula and L. aegyptiaca are fixed for different alleles at nine loci, indicating that they are completely reproductively isolated from each other.
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Vol. 59 • No. 2