Luffa is a genus of tropical and subtropical vines in the cucumber family (Cucurbitaceae). In everyday non-technical usage, the luffa, also spelled loofah, usually refers to the fruits of the species Luffa aegyptiaca and Luffa acutangula. It is cultivated and eaten as a vegetable, but must be harvested at a young stage of development to be edible. The vegetable is popular in India, China and Vietnam. When the fruit is fully ripened, it is very fibrous. The fully developed fruit is the source of the loofah scrubbing sponge which is used in bathrooms and kitchens.