Squash, Gourds, and Pumpkins
These annual vegetable crops are vining, climbing, or bushy succulent plants. The fruits are grown for eating, oil processing, or containers. Fruits are harvested before seed maturation for fresh consumption. Varieties used for oil are harvested when the fruits are fully mature and the vine stem has dried. Gourds used for containers must dry on the vine until the seeds are loose and rattle inside. Some varieties provide edible flowers and young leaves.
Summer Squash Cucurbita pepo
Summer Squash, Patty Pan SquashSummer Squashes are distinctive from all other squashes because they are eaten when they are immature. They grow on either vines or bushes with large leaves that are hairy underneath. They have smooth, edible skin, flesh that varies from light to dark green or yellow, and seeds that are soft and...
Gac Momordica cochinchinensis
Gac, Spiny Bitter Cucumber, Sweet Gourd, Giant Spine Gourd, Cochinchin GourdGac is a woody, perennial plant with vining stems reaching 6 m or more in length. Growing from tuberous roots, the vines are often seen climbing on fences or into the tops of trees. Its large (10-15 cm wide), dark green leaves have three to five lobes. Gac is dioecious, meaning that some plants...
Wax Gourd Benincasa hispida
Wax Gourd, Winter Gourd, White Gourd, Tallow Gourd, Chinese Wintermelon, Chinese Preserving Melon, Petha, KondolWax gourds are vining plants that produce large, round wax-covered fruits. Originally from Southeast Asia, the species is grown in many lowland tropical environments up to 1,300 m in elevation. The long vines may be trained along trellises or up buildings where they produce fruit. Fruits are...
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Seminole Pumpkin Cucurbita moschata
Seminole PumpkinSeminole pumpkins are a landrace of Cucurbita moschata that developed in Florida. Naturalists record the conspicuous presence of Seminole Pumpkin fruits hanging from tree limbs during their travels to Florida already in the 18th century. Seminole pumpkins are very well adapted to hot, humid...
Tropical Pumpkin Cucurbita moschata
Tropical Pumpkin, Calabaza, Winter SquashThe Tropical Pumpkin originated in tropical South or Central America, possibly Peru or Mexico, and is now widely distributed throughout the tropics. Tropicalpumpkins are very well adapted to hot, humid conditions and the ripe fruits can be stored for months or even a year under dry well...
Tahitian Butternut Cucurbita moschata
Butternut, Tahitian ButternutThis winter squash has been cultivated in tropical and subtropical areas of the Americas since Pre-Colombian times. Evidence of its use has been found in archeological diggings. It is a very old variety not often available through seed companies.
Caigua Cyclanthera pedata
Stuffing Cucumber, Slipper Gourd, Slipper Gourd, Caihua, Achoccha, KorilaCaigua isan Andean fruit that grows on a climbing vine similar to cucumbers. The mature greenfruit is hollow and is deseeded and stuffed for cooking. The immature fruits and young shoots are eaten raw and cooked. Fruit is 6-15cm long. Requires trellising. Relatively cold tolerantbut not freeze...
Bottle Gourd Lagenaria siceraria
Bottle Gourd, Bushel Gourd, Calabash Gourd, Birdhouse GourdBottle Gourds are typically grown for non-food use. The gourd is allowed to reach its full size on the plant and turned into a valuable container for grains or liquids. Mature fruits contain an extremely hard and waterproof rind when dried. The growing gourd may be constricted with bands to form...
Italian Edible Gourd/Cucuzzi Lagenaria siceraria
Italian Edible Gourd, Cucuzzi, Italian Edible Gourd, Italian Squash, Guinea Bean, New Guinea Bean, Suzza Melon, Tasmania Bean, ZuccaThis Italian edible gourdis a cucurbit vine that climbs and has large long-stalked leaves forming a canopy over the flowers and fruits. The fruit islight greenand smooth-skinned. Fruit shape varies but usually is long and cylindrical,up to 1 m in length and 8 cmin diameter. The fruit is harvested...
Angled Luffa Luffa acutangula
Angled Luffa, Ridged Loofah, Chinese OkraLuffas are vining annual plants that produce fruits for food and the luffa sponge. The young fruits of Angled Luffa are edible raw or cooked. Although two species produce a fibrous skeleton in the mature fruit, Smooth Luffa (Luffa cylindrica) is the preferred species for the luffa sponge. This...
Smooth Luffa Luffa cylindrica
Smooth Luffa, Sponge Gourd, Dishcloth Gourd, Vine OkraLuffas are vining annual plants that produce fruits for food and the luffa sponge. The fruits of Smooth Luffa are preferred for luffa sponges. Angled luffa, C. acutangula, is the preferred species for edible fruit.
Cushaw Pumpkin Cucurbita argyrosperma
Cushaw PumpkinCushaw pumpkins are a herbaceous, vining, winter squash grown for the edible flesh and seeds. Flowers and tender shoots are also edible. The seeds are high in oil and protein and can be eaten roasted or ground up for an ingredient in sauces. The flesh is eaten as a vegetable and can be used in...
Buffalo Gourd Cucurbita foetidissima
Buffalo GourdThe buffalo gourd is native to Southwestern North America
Snake Gourd Trichosanthes cucumerina (syn. T. anguina)
Snake Gourd, Tomato Gourd, Chachera, Chichinga, Padwal, Potlakaya, Pakupis, Tomato ElejoSnake gourd is a vining, annual vegetable crop that produces a wavy cucumber-like fruit that is harvested when young and green (30-75cm long) and cooked like a squash. This crop is well suited to growth in the humid lowland tropics. The delicate vines need a trellis. The mature fruit turns orange...
Ivy Gourd Coccinia grandis
Scarlet GourdIvy gourd is a perennial vine with white, star shaped flowers and cucumber-like fruit which is green when immature and bright red when ripe. It is naturalized or native in Southeast Asia and East Africa, but is listed as an invasive weed in Saipan, Guam, Fiji, Hawaii, Solomon Islands, Tongatapu...
Wild Luffa Luffa operculata
Wild LuffaEgg shaped luffa with spikes. Fruit can be harvested when brown and dry for the sponge/fiber. This luffa is also used for treating sinusitis.