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Cucurbitaceae Cucurbita pepo L., C. moschata Duchesne ex Poir., C. mixta Pang., C. maxima Duchesne

Source: Magness et al. 1971

As indicated, varieties of several species of Cucurbita carry the name pumpkin. There is much confusion also between the terms pumpkin and squash. Pumpkin, as here described, is the edible fruit of cucurbits used for feed or food when ripe, and having somewhat coarse, strongly flavored flesh. Winter squash has finer textured and less strongly flavored flesh. Pumpkins are produced on trailing annual plants, having large, generally 5-pointed leaves. Fruits are variable in size, color and shape, ranging from 3 to as high as 60 pounds in weight. They have a moderately hard rind, with a thick, edible flesh below, and a central seed cavity.

Season, seeding to mature: 4 to 5 months.

Production in the U.S.: 16,000 acres, 1959 census; possibly 200,000 tons.

Use: As food - culinary, frozen and canned commercially. Also stock feed.

Part of plant consumed: Internal flesh as food; whole fruit as feed. Small amounts of seeds are consumed as nuts.

Last update July 1, 1996 bha