Native squash

nydepot(6)October 16, 2012

I was reading recently that several forms of squash were native to North and Central North America. And we know the native Americans were harvesting squash when the Europeans arrived.

Are there any native squash left in the Americas that are found in the wild? I have never in all my hiking seen a squash growing anywhere.



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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

I'm assuming you are "hiking" in the US and so you're certainly out of luck. The origins of squash as I understand it are in Mesoamerica. There may be close relatives of the cultivated squashes growing in the wild but you're going to have to take a trip south, way south to Mexico and beyond to see anything like that. Squash, like corn and beans, spread amongst the Native people's of the Americas prior to Europeans coming to the New World. Many of the places they were traditionally grown by the Native peoples ended up being very far from where the food originated from. The Iroquois, who had great agricultural traditions, lived primarily across NY State - my home state. And I am very far from Mexico in both distance and growing conditions indeed!

I wrote the blurb attached some while ago on squash that might be of interest. Other New World foods featured on the same page too. Enjoy.


Here is a link that might be useful: Squash

    Bookmark   October 16, 2012 at 12:17PM
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I'm not too far from Ganondagan.

Thanks for the info.


    Bookmark   October 16, 2012 at 12:34PM
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ExoticRGVNativesTy(10a TX)

Wild gourds occur in much of the Southwestern and Midwestern United States. I've seen Missouri Gourd (Cucurbita foetidissima) growing along highways in Texas. Squashes belong to the same genus.


    Bookmark   October 16, 2012 at 12:39PM
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Cucurbita pepo var. ovifera, including the Acorn, Scallop, Crookneck and Straightneck types are thought to have originated from vars. texana and/or ozarkana of Texas and the lower Mississippi Basin.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2012 at 9:26PM
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