There are numerous types of gourds, some of which are edible. Zucchini and squash are two common gourds that are grown primarily for food. A few gourds sold for ornamental purposes are edible when young, but not after they have matured and been harvested for decorations.
Because most ornamental varieties are not edible, gourds marketed as table decorations should not be eaten. These inedible gourds are used around the world in carving bottles, musical instruments, birdhouses and decorative objects. Gourds are one of the oldest known domesticated plant groups, with evidence for their cultivation dating back to 15,000 years ago.