A Pumpkin or A Squash

 A Pumpkin or A Squash?

Pumpkins, squash, and gourds are related vegetable species that many people often confuse with each other.  We get many questions like, Can you eat these? Are these just for decoration?

All three, the pumpkin, the squash and the gourd belong to the same family.

The Cucurbita pepo is identi fied as what we consider the true pumpkins species. Most of these varieties have vibrant orange skin with stems that are woody.  This group would also include green zucchini squash and summer squash. They have a thick skin and are very durable.

The Cucurbita maxima species contain varieties that are more pumpkin-like. They are usually more golden than orange and the stems are not nearly as hearty.  Most of these varieties would not be able to be carried by the stem like most pumpkin varieties. These include the turban varieties.

The Cucubita moschata species vary most directly in their shape rather than color. They tend to be more long or oblong instead of the round of a traditional pumpkin. They are generally tan in appearance.  This species of pumpkin is most often found in the canned pumpkin that you can purchase at a grocery store. Cushaw and butternut squash varieties are also members of this group.