Native to Central and South America, Crescentia cujete or commonly known as Calabash Tree is a small or medium-sized flowering tree about 10 meters in height. It is the national tree of St. Lucia. Its leaves are simple and alternate, its bole is thick, and its crown is dense and round. The flowers are round and bell-shaped. The fruit is used to make containers, cups, etc. Young fruit is occasionally pickled but the pulp is poisonous. The seeds are poisonous as well if consumed raw. Cooked seeds are used to make a beverage. The leaves are cooked and used in soups. Further, calabash tree has a wide range of medicinal uses. The fruit is used in the treatment of colds, diarrhoea, pneumonia, and intestinal irregularities. It is also used for relief from menstrual pains and to ease childbirth and procure an abortion. The leaves, on the other hand, can be used in the treatment of dysentery, colds, lung diseases, toothache, wounds, and headache. The bark is used to clean wounds. The wood is used for tool handles, ox yokes, vehicle parts, and sometimes in construction. It is also used for fuel.
Invasive in Fiji.