1. n., The bottle gourd (Lagenaria siceraria, also L. vulgaris), a wide-spreading vine, with large-angled or lobed leaves, white, night blooming flowers, and smooth green and mottled or white fruits varying widely in shape and size. The plant is a native of tropical Asia or Africa. Hawaiians have long used gourds as receptacles, small gourds with thin walls to hold water or food, or for rattles for dances (the ipu has a fine tone, halfway between that of niu and laʻamia), larger ones with thin to thick walls to hold tapa and other articles or to serve as drums. Orientals cook and eat the white pulp of green fruits. Hawaiians have distinguished between a kind with bitter pulp, used medicinally, and a kind with nonbitter pulp.
- Neal 812–3.
- Cf. pule ipu.
- PPN ipu.
2. n., The watermelon (Citrullus lanatus), a wide-spreading vine from tropical Africa, with large, lobed leaves and yellow flowers. It is grown for its edible fruits, which are round or oblong, green or green with light stripes, and full of sweet, juicy, rose-colored pulp surrounding flat, black seeds. The watermelon was introduced to Hawaiʻi about 1792 and thrived until the melon fly arrived about 1910. Among many varieties that were developed were three outstanding ones: ipu huluhulu, ipu poʻo kanaka, and ipu oloolo. Today watermelons are again cultivated successfully because the fruits are commonly wrapped in paper or cloth during early stages.
- Neal 810–1.
3. n., General name for vessel or container, as dish, mug, calabash, pot, cup, utensil, urn, bowl, basin, pipe.
- Ka ipu o ka ʻike, a container of knowledge [a learned person].
4. n., Drum consisting of a single gourd or made of two large gourds of unequal size joined together.
5. n., Crown of a hat.
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