The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary






Squash (fruit)

(Redirected from Squash (vegetable))

|- | style="text-align:center;" | 240px
Yellow Squash |- style="text-align:center;" ! style="background: lightgreen;" | Scientific classification |- style="text-align:center;" |

|- valign=top |Kingdom:||Plantae |- valign=top |Division:||Magnoliophyta |- valign=top |Class:||Magnoliopsida |- valign=top |Order:||Violales |- valign=top |Family:||Cucurbitaceae |- valign=top |Genus:||Cucurbita |} |- style="text-align:center; background:lightgreen;" !Species |- | C. digitata - fingerleaf gourd
C. ficifolia - figleaf gourd
C. foetidissima - wild gourd, wild pumpkin
C. maxima - winter squash, pumpkin
C. mixta - pumpkin
C. moschata - crookneck squash
C. okeechobeensis
C. palmata
C. pepo - vegetable marrow, field pumpkin


ITIS 22365
2002-11-06 |} Squashes are the fruit of vines of the genus Cucurbita. Squashes are classified as summer squash or winter squash, depending on when they are harvested. Compare Gourds.

Summer squashes, including young vegetable marrows (such as zucchini (also known as courgette), pattypan and yellow crookneck ) are harvested during the summer, while the skin is still tender and the fruit relatively small. They are consumed almost immediately and require little or no cooking.

Winter squashes (such as hubbard , acorn or Cucurbita pepo, vegetable spaghetti and pumpkin) are harvested at the end of summer, generally cured to further harden the skin, and stored in a cool place for eating later. They generally require longer cooking time than summer squashes.

Squash is native to North America and was one of the "Three Sisters" planted by Native Americans. The Three Sisters were the three main indigenous plants used for agriculture: maize (corn), beans, and squash. These were usually planted together, with the cornstalk providing support for the climbing beans, and shade for the squash. The squash vines provided groundcover to limit weeds.

Squash has historically been pollinated by the native North American squash bee Peponapis pruinosa, but this bee has declined, probably due to pesticide sensitivity, and most commercial plantings are pollinated by honeybees today. One hive per acre (4,000 m² per hive) is recommended by the US Department of Agriculture. Gardeners with a shortage of bees often have to hand pollinate . Inadequately pollinated squash usually start growing but abort before full development. Often there is an opportunistic fungus that the gardener blames for the abortion, but the fix proves to be better pollination not fungicide.

Squash Images

Petit Pan squash
Petit Pan squash
Longtitudinal section of female flower of squash (courgette), showing ovary, ovules, pistil, and petals
Longtitudinal section of female flower of squash (courgette), showing ovary, ovules, pistil, and petals

Last updated: 05-02-2005 12:22:35