Field of Science

Are pumpkins squashes?

Somehow the near annual arrival of a reporter to interview TPP about leaf color was unintentionally avoided; they were sent to find my lair, but TPP was out and about collecting seeds. The also nearly annual question arrived by email: are pumpkins squashes?  Short version: yes. Here's a link to a nice discussion of pumpkin/squash diversity. As an added bonus, and in case you did not notice the recent post on the Botanist in the Kitchen blog, here's a very good discussion about giant pumpkin/squashes. Growing up, TPP's Father got a big kick out of growing big pumpkins, but he never had any as big as these although they remained impressive anyways. The pumpkin TPP is posing with is a mere 901 pounds, while this year's big pumpkin is 2.5 times bigger! And as long as TPP is on the subject, a couple of weeks are left to visit the Great Pumpkin Patch near Arthur, Illinois. Can't think of any place where you can see more varieties of pumpkins and squashes than there (300+!). And do try the pumpkin ice cream.   

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