Like alot of people, I just assumed they were a type of sponge, and were animal based…pretty much because I never really thought about them at all.
But then, a few weeks ago, I found loofah seeds at the hardware store in a section of heriloom plant seeds–which I promptly bought… Turns out (for those that didn’t know, or never really thought about it) that the loofah (also spelled Luffa, which is the genus name) is a the seed pod of the fruit of a squash-like plant.
Holy crap, I can grow my own scrubbies!!!
…that actually comes out to be a chunk of change, if you think about it. AND, they are compostable after using), plus you can do all sorts of crafty soap things with them.
From what I have found, in my pre-loofah growing/harvesting research, is that a lot of people grow loofahs, and they all report slightly different growing seasons, preferences and methods (I think some of this is a result of differences in location and variety of plant perhaps, and that it is a slightly odd plant that is not well known).