Saturday, July 5, 2008

More about squash...

I'm puzzling about the identity of one of the plants in my 'summer squash mix' labeled as C. moschata on the seed packet.

Unfortunately, I gave the packet with 'left-over seeds' to a fellow gardener to put in our raised beds in the Children's Garden, so can't double check the label at the moment.

In the Gourmet Seeds International catalog, they were identified as 'Zucchini Summer Sampler Mix' -- but none of the varieties mentioned match the bi-color spoon gourd-look of these squash.

I also read that gourds are eaten in Meso-America traditionally when young, so maybe these are young gourds (C. pepo varieties) rather than C. moschata? In any case, the borers haven't got them yet, and they're quite tasty when small.

The diversity of leaves and fruit types is striking, actually, but the season is still young. I ordered another packet of 'Zucchini Summer Mix' today to check it out.

Rambling down the slope

Tromboncino squash heading downA diversity of squashes


  1. I always thought that squash cross-pollinated with ease-you may have a hybrid on your hands. Those bees get around a fair amount:)

  2. Hmm, love a mystery. That looks somewhat like a Johnny's Seed hybrid called "Zephyr," except Zephyr isn't as bulbous. On the Chocolate and Zucchini website, a comment explained that zephyr was developed from delicata, yellow acorn, and yellow crookneck. Your squash certainly looks like it's kin to a crookneck but on a c.moschata-type vine.

    And boy do the leaves of that tromboncino vine resemble costata romanesco-- one of my favorites (a favorite of the vine borers too unfortunately). Or maybe that's a c.r. next to the tromboncino? Apparently there's some confusion about tromboncino too according to several websites. Some people equate it with a C.moschata variety called Tromba d'albenga and others with a C.pepe zuchetta rampicante (which comes from Albenga too!). Still others seem to associate it with the Italian gourd Cucuzza.
    Very interesting! I'm going to have to find a good squash book.

  3. Thanks for the comments!

    I imagine the C. moschata types are as interfertile as the other C. species --and the bees are definitely busy moving the pollen around!

    The tromboncino squash that I've grown is definitely has large leaves with distinct white striped markings, and the fruits are different than pictures of the Tromba d'albenga that I saw, so they're probably different cultivars. I do think the Cucuzza IS a different species (Lagenaria siceraria) AKA Italian bottle gourd. (I'm trying to grow one- a Lagenaria - from Nichols Garden seeds right now, but it's sulking -- although it definitely has white flowers, though, unlike the tromboncino's yellow flowers).

    Apparently the Italian seed houses aren't so persnickety when they label their varieties!

    I read that there were something like 800+ different cultivars (varieties) of squash. Yikes!


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