Odd Squash, wondering the name?

sagittaOctober 15, 2008

We've had a volunteer squash growing on our property this year in what used to be a cow pasture (the cow is long gone).

As the vine was growing in a pile of cow generated 'fertilizer', I'm wondering if this is simply a zucchini gone crazy or if its some other kind of breed.

Its a large green and orange squash with zucchini-like markings and a yellow underside that becomes pumpkin orange where the fruit was against the ground.

We had a hard frost a few weeks back and I finally went out and picked the remaining fruit from the vine, and took a picture of them before giving them away to a lady at work.

I did skin and cook up one of them a month or two back, and the flavor is very mild. The seeds are pumpkin-like, and the flesh around the seed area almost was like a spaghetti squash in texture.

Here is a link to a photo of them before I gave them away. I did save one however for seeds, as I want to replant next year since I really likes the flavor and texture of them.

Just in case the seeds don't take or I need to buy more, I'd like to know the name if possible of the variety.

Also, while my memory is fuzzy, the vine was large and spreading, with orange flowers that almost looked like the type you'd see on a pumpkin. As soon as we had our first frost it killed the vine. (I live in Maine, so this was a good 3 weeks ago, maybe longer)


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Remembered my HTML (I hope) so maybe this may work to show the picture I took.

One thing to remember about this plant is that I literally did nothing with it. It was a volunteer I didn't even discover until August when I stumbled across it, yet it managed to kick out at least four or five large heavy fruit, and a number of small ones that never made it after the frost killed the vine. I've been looking but haven't found anything exactly like it on the web so I'm at a loss as to what it may be called.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2008 at 10:12PM
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What you have doesn't look like any named variety that I am aware of. Pumpkins and gourds frequently hybridize and it looks like that is what you have. Those green squash look immature, if frost didn't kill the vine they would have likely turned completely orange. In fact I bet they will turn orange over time off of the vine. I doubt the seeds you saved will grow identical squash next year, but they will probably be similar.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2008 at 10:19PM
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Pumpkins (Cucurbita) and Gourds (Lagenaria) never hybridize. Also they both have different numbers of chromosomes, and although chromosome counts can be manipulated it doesn't happen out in a pasture with bees.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2008 at 6:01PM
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True , zebraman, but unfortunately both the term gourd and pumpkin cover a lot of different plants. Many of the oranmental gourds are C. pepo which cross readily with pumpkins (C. pepo) summer squash ( C. pepo)and some types of winter squash C. pepo. Pumpkins of course can be C. maxima. C. moshata, C. mixta as well as C. pepo. Other types of gourds (Luffa, Lagenaria,Momordica, Benincasa) of course do not cross with Cucurbita.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2008 at 12:40PM
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When I say gourds I mean ornamental gourds, the small, colorful ones. They are C. pepo and can easily and frequently cross-pollinate with most pumpkins. I never call Lagenaria siceraria just a gourd, I always always qualify it with hard-shelled. C. Pepo and L. siceraria also do not flower at the same time of the day, C. pepo in the morning and L. siceraria at night, and they are pollinated by different creatures, C. pepo is pollinated by bees and their relatives and L. siceraria is pollinated by moths.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2008 at 11:47AM
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