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19. Signaling techniques
20. Survival movement in hostile areas
21. Camouflage
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23. Survival in man-made hazards

A. Survival kits
B. Edible and medicinal plants
C. Poisonous plants
D. Dangerous insects and arachnids
E. Poisonous snakes and lizards
F. Dangerous fish and mollusks
G. Clouds: foretellers of weather
H. Contingency plan of action format

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Wild gourd or luffa sponge

Wild gourd or luffa sponge
Luffa cylindrica

Description: The luffa sponge is widely distributed and fairly typical of a wild squash. There are several dozen kinds of wild squashes in tropical regions. Like most squashes, the luffa is a vine with leaves 7.5 to 20 centimeters across having 3 lobes. Some squashes have leaves twice this size. Luffa fruits are oblong or cylindrical, smooth, and many-seeded. Luffa flowers are bright yellow. The luffa fruit, when mature, is brown and resembles the cucumber.

Habitat and Distribution: A member of the squash family, which also includes the watermelon, cantaloupe, and cucumber, the luffa sponge is widely cultivated throughout the Tropical Zone. It may be found in a semiwild state in old clearings and abandoned gardens in rain forests and semievergreen seasonal forests.

Edible Parts: You can boil the young green (half-ripe) fruit and eat them as a vegetable. Adding coconut milk will improve the flavor. After ripening, the luffa sponge develops an inedible spongelike texture in the interior of the fruit. You can also eat the tender shoots, flowers, and young leaves after cooking them. Roast the mature seeds a little and eat them like peanuts.

For information on a specific edible or medicinal plant, click on one of the links below:

  - Abal
  - Acacia
  - Agave
  - Almond
  - Amaranth
  - Arctic willow
  - Arrowroot
  - Asparagus
  - Bael fruit
  - Bamboo
  - Banana and plantain
  - Baobab
  - Batoko plum
  - Bearberry or kinnikinnick
  - Beech
  - Bignay
  - Blackberry, raspberry, and dewberry
  - Blueberry and huckleberry
  - Breadfruit
  - Burdock
  - Burl Palm
  - Canna lily
  - Carob tree
  - Cashew nut
  - Cattail
  - Cereus cactus
  - Chestnut
  - Chicory
  - Chufa
  - Coconut
  - Common jujube
  - Cranberry
  - Crowberry
  - Cuipo tree
  - Dandelion
  - Date palm
  - Daylily
  - Duchesnea or Indian strawberry
  - Elderberry
  - Fireweed
  - Fishtail palm
  - Foxtail grass
  - Goa bean
  - Hackberry
  - Hazelnut or wild filbert
  - Horseradish tree
  - Iceland moss
  - Indian potato or Eskimo potato
  - Juniper
  - Lotus
  - Malanga
  - Mango
  - Manioc
  - Marsh marigold
  - Mulberry
  - Nettle
  - Nipa palm
  - Oak
  - Orach
  - Palmetto palm
  - Papaya or pawpaw
  - Persimmon
  - Pincushion cactus
  - Pine
  - Plantain, broad and narrow leaf
  - Pokeweed
  - Prickly pear cactus
  - Purslane
  - Rattan palm
  - Reed
  - Reindeer moss
  - Rock tripe
  - Rose apple
  - Sago palm
  - Sassafras
  - Saxaul
  - Screw pine
  - Sea orach
  - Sheep sorrel
  - Sorghum
  - Spatterdock or yellow water lily
  - Sterculia
  - Strawberry
  - Sugar palm
  - Sugarcane
  - Sweetsop
  - Tamarind
  - Taro, cocoyam, elephant ears, eddo, dasheen
  - Thistle
  - Ti
  - Tree fern
  - Tropical almond
  - Walnut
  - Water chestnut
  - Water lettuce
  - Water lily
  - Water plantain
  - Wild caper
  - Wild crab apple or wild apple
  - Wild desert gourd or colocynth
  - Wild dock and wild sorrel
  - Wild fig
  - Wild gourd or luffa sponge
  - Wild grape vine
  - Wild onion and garlic
  - Wild pistachio
  - Wild rice
  - Wild rose
  - Wood sorrel
  - Yam
  - Yam bean


Edible and medicinal plants



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