Botanical name: Crescentia cujete | Hindi: कमंडल | Marathi: कमंडल | English: Beggar Bowl Tree, Calabash


The Calabash tree, Crescentia cujete, is a tropical evergreen known for its distinctive large, spherical fruits. Reaching up to 25 feet in height, it features broad, leathery leaves and greenish-yellow flowers. The smooth, hard shell of its fruit is utilized for various purposes. The tree thrives in warm climates, showcasing a unique growth pattern with a wide canopy.

Interesting Facts

Medicine and Wellness
Medicinal Uses: In traditional medicine, Calabash tree parts are employed for their therapeutic properties. The fruit shell is believed to have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effects, used in treating wounds and skin conditions. Additionally, infusions from its leaves are utilized for digestive issues.
Culture and Belief
Culture & Tradition:The Calabash tree holds cultural significance across many regions. Its gourd-like fruits are crafted into containers, musical instruments, and decorative items. In some cultures, these vessels are considered sacred and are used in rituals, symbolizing abundance and spirituality.
  1. It is used as a utensil for carrying water and storing food extensively in African houses.
  2. In Cuba, the dried fruit is commonly used as a coffee cup by rural farmers.

Anandvan Trivia Quiz

Question 1: How do beggars, sadhus, musicians and hunters use my fruit?
Answer: The fruit of the Beggar Bowl tree get’s it’s name from the large fruit, who outer shell after drying can be used as a bowl. The large shell is known to be used in several other ways:
  1. As a Kamandal or bowl by beggars and Sadhus.
  2. In Colombia, the dried fruit is halved and then partially filled with either stones, beads, seeds, broken glass or a combination and is then used to keep the rhythm in bullerengue music. In Western and Southern Africa it is also used for musical instruments.
  3. Hunters use it as a mask while trying to sneak close to an animal or fish.

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