Field of Science

400 varieties of Squash


According to the experts domesticated squashes including pumpkins all belong to one of four species of Cucurbita.  Domestication involves selection for desirable traits resulting in different varieties from different places, but all the genetic variation on display was inherent in the wild species.  That's what makes the varieties of squashes all the more amazing, and it was truly on display at the Great Pumpkin Patch.  The Great Wall of squash, as long and as tall as the barn that props it up, displays about 200 varieties of squash, less than half the number of varieties grown here. You'll get the idea from this smaller display high lighting an attractive array of squash.  The GPP constructed such a display on the White House lawn a couple of years ago.  The Phactors stocked up on winter squash, and even tried the pumpkin ice cream.  Is it good?  Well, this expert thinks so.  

2 comments:

William Connolley said...

4 species? It was 5 in http://phytophactor.fieldofscience.com/2012/09/outa-our-gourds.html unless I misunderstood.

The Phytophactor said...

William, how to keep TPP honest. So let's make sure. There are 4 species of squash/pumpkins, 4 species of Cucurbita. But then there's one more genus of bottle gourds/squashes, and somehow managed to make it sound like 5 species of the former. Sorry for the confusion. And don't ask how to tell them apart; no idea!