100 Plants That Almost Changed The World

is a recent publication by Chris Beardshaw. (You might remember him from a video I posted last year entitled Apples: British to the core. To my delight, the Chelsea Flower Show veteran joined the Beechgrove Garden team this year). It's a fun read. Light and informative with beautiful artwork.

My loofahs didn't thrive, sorry. These gourds will have to do. :P

Here's an excerpt of the book:

"The Loufah, commonly seen as a washing aid and skin exfoliant in showers and bathrooms is related to the Cucumber. Two species Luffa acutangula and L. aegyptiaca are grown for their long, crisp fruits that perfectly resemble their more familiar cousin. Originally grown and cooked in Asia and Africa for its nutritious and jaundice-resisting properties, it is more profitable now to allow fruits to mature before processing to remove all the tissue except the network of xylem cells, producing the bathroom Loufah.

Research has recently concentrated on the apparent natural antibacterial properties of the tissue in the production of fine grade air filters."

Chris Beardshaw - Making magazine - Crafts Institute

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