The Calabash ‘Plate de Corse’, the natural gourd of the 19th century!

Gourd ‘Plate de Corse’ is an ancient pumpkin variety native to the island of beauty now in obscurity. Very decorative, in the past it was also used as a utensil. This beautiful gourd deserves to be flagged for article time to share its story with you!

The gourd: one of the first plant species to be domesticated by humans

The botanical name (Lagenaria Siceraria “Plate of Corsica”) already gives us an idea about the use of the fruits of this gourd. Lagenaria means “with the appearance of a bottle” and Siceraria “drink”, the term “flat” refers to the low height. Gourds, also called gourds, are part of the large Cucurbitaceae family. Historically, it is one of the first plant species to be domesticated by man, serving as food, medicine, utensils and musical instruments that can be made from the large fruits in the hard shell.

The ‘Plate de Corse’ gourd is a spur variety that produces very beautiful light green decorative fruits (5 to 8 fruits per foot), round and flattened, about 20 cm in diameter and 10 to 15 cm high. They are generally harvested from August to November. Then let them dry before using them. Then, for example, it can be cut to form a salad bowl, bowl, or other container.

Traditional 19th century Corsican gourd – Source:

The gourds of the Corsican shepherds and Napoleonic troops!

We go back to the 19th century to discover an old tradition: the making of gourds. After harvesting the fruit, a small hole was made to empty the seeds, then it was left under the mild Corsican sun for a few days to dry and transform into a gourd. Some gourds were also painted to make a real work of art.

Traditionally, the gourds were used by the Corsican herders on outings with the herds to carry water or some other drink to quench their thirst. The ‘Plate de Corse’ was also used by Napoleonic troops during their travels, as the utensils produced with it are light and easy to replace.

Although not edible, it was highly prized for turning it into a gourd because of its light and easy-to-carry side. So why not start making your own gourd from your ‘Plate de Corse’ gourd grown in your garden? Feel free to turn it into a true work of art and share your photos with us.