SQUASH, SUMMER: Botanical name: Cucurbita species
COMMON NAMES: Summer Squash, Crookneck, Pattypan, Straightneck, Scallop, Zucchini
VARIETIES: Crookneck: Golden Summer Crookneck (53 days)
Scallop or Pattypan: Peter Pan (60 days) Scallopini hybrids (60 days) St. Patrick Green Tint (60 days)
Straightneck: Early Prolific Straightneck (50 days)
Zucchini: Gold Rush (60 days) : Zucchini hybrids (60 days)
These are only a few of the varieties available. Ask your Cooperative Extension Service for other specific recommendations for your area.
DESCRIPTION: The cucumber family, to which squashes belong, probably has the greatest diversity of shapes and sizes of any vegetable family except the cabbages. It's the genus Cucurbita and includes certain gourds and pumpkins, as well as squashes. Most are trailing or climbing plants with large yellow flowers (both male and female); the mature fruits have a thick skin and a definite seed cavity. "Summer squash," "Winter squash," and "Pumpkin" are not definite botanical names. "Pumpkin," which any child can tell you is a large vegetable used for jack-o-lanterns and pies, is applied to longkeeping varieties of C. Moschata, C. pepo, and a few varieties of C. maxima. Summer squashes are eaten when they are immature; winter squashes are eaten when mature.
Squashes are hard to confine. A bush-type zucchini will grow well in a tire planter if kept well watered and fertilized; a vining squash can be trained up a fence. Summer squashes are week-stemmed, tender annuals, with large, cucumberlike leaves and seperate male and female flowers that appear on the same plant. Summer squash usually grows as a bush, rather than as a vine; the fruits have thin, tender skin and are generally eaten in the immature stage before the skin hardens. The most popular of the many kinds of summer squashes are crookneck, straightneck, scallop, and zucchini.
Your VEGETABLE: SUMMER SQUASH, VARIETIES AND DESCRIPTION is ready. Buon appetito!
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