1 entry found.
Common Name: Pumpkin, Autumn and Winter Squash, Gourds
Botanical Name: Cucurbita maxima (C. pepo) (cue-CURB-i-ta MAX-I-ma)
Decorative Life: Weeks to months.
Harvest Instructions: For best results, freshly harvested pumpkins should first be cured for about 10 days at 80F before being placed at 55-60F for storage. The curing hardens the rind (skin) and helps to heal cut or damaged surfaces. However, bruised areas cannot be cured, therefore, handle them carefully to prevent bruising.
- Member of the Cucurbitaceae (gourd) family.
- Native to North and South America.
- Related species include cucumber, squash, melon.
- The fruit is globous, thick-skinned and fleshy.
- Plant is an annual vine, classed as a dicotyledon, leaves not parallel veined.
Flower Color: Fruit is orange, some cultivars white.
Storage Specifics: Stores well at room temperature or in refrigeration at 55 degrees F.
- Cultivars 'Sweetie Pie' and 'Jack Be Little' are 3 inch wide miniatures good for decoration, 'Lumina' has white skin and orange flesh, 'Big Moon' produces fruit up to 200 pounds. Kinds used for ornament: yellow-flowered gourd (Cucurbita pepo var. ovifera), white-flowered and snake gourds (Lagenaria), white or wax gourd (Benincasa), dish cloth or vegetable sponge gourd (Luffa).
- There are native gourds in Texas and Mexico that may have some relation to prehistoric species, but the history of cultivated pumpkins is not fully known.
- "Cucurbita" is Latin for gourd. The specific epithet name "maxima" means largest, probably in reference to fruit size.
- Hubbard and many other large fruited types are members of this species.