The black calabash is a small tree or shrub of variable height and spread, depending on growth form. It has gray, rough furrowed bark. Calabash is a general term referring to gourds, typically dried and used as water vessels. It is a common home garden tree in the tropics, and is related to crescentia species which produce a smaller fruit. The evergreen tree or shrub has a dense crown of dark, glossy, green, alternate, elliptical leaves to 7 inches long. Branches are mostly upright and are susceptible to breaking. Continuously flowering, it produces 2 inch long, non-showy purplish-white blooms. Fruits are inconspicuous, round, green, fleshy 3-6 inches long; the interior white flesh and seeds are edible. The dried pod becomes woody and constitutes the gourd. Propagation by seed, cuttings or air layering. A hardy plant, it tolerates a range of soil types providing they are well drained. It has no serious pest or disease problems. In landscaping, black calabash is an excellent choice for a seaside garden, as a buffer in parking lots, it can be pruned to make a good wind barrier and is one of the best privacy hedges. It can be grown in a xerophytic garden.