Cucurbita maxima

Cucurbita maxima , one of at least four species of cultivated squash , is one of the most diverse domesticated species. [2] This species originated from the wild Cucurbita andriana in South America 4000 years ago. [3] The two species hybridize fairly easily, but have different calcium levels.

Cucurbita maxima
Cucurbita maxima


Several cultivars of Cucurbita maxima have been developed. As in C. pepo , plants are present with a “shrub habit” that is especially evident in young plants, but older plants grow in a wild-type baleen manner.

  • Aricara squash is an heirloom variety of C. maxima . The fruit weighs from four to eleven pounds. The shape of the fruit can be tear-drop or round, and they are colored in a speckled orange and green pattern. It is desired both for its edible qualities and for its seasonal decoration. This variety traces its ancestry to the Arikara tribe of the Dakota , among whom it was cultivated before the white settlement.
  • Banana squash has an elongated shape with pale blue, pink or orange skin and bright orange flesh.
  • Boston Marrow tastes sweet, narrow at one end and bulbous at the other. [6]
  • Buttercup squash is a common variety, with a turban-shaped (a flattened top) and dark green skin, weighing three to five pounds, and usually heavy with dense, yellow-orange flesh. Not to be confused with butternut squash .
  • Candy rooster squash is a landrace that was originally developed by the Cherokee people in the southern Appalachians. Another heirloom variety, it is quite variable in size (10-250+ pounds), shape (round, cylindrical, teardrop, barred, etc.), and color (pink, tan, green, blue, gray, or orange). Most have fine textured, orange flesh. The variety enjoys continued popularity, particularly in the southern Appalachians.
  • Hubbard squash is another variety of this species that typically has a tear-drop shape. It is often used as a replacement for pumpkin in cooking . According to one source, [7] the name comes from Bella Hubbard, a resident of Randolph Township, Ohio , in the Connecticut Western Reserve . Several other sources list alternate histories. [8] [9] These sources state that Hubbard squash (unnamed at the time) through Captain Knott Martin in Marblehead, Massachusetts.had come . A woman named Elizabeth Hubbard brought the fruit to the attention of her neighbor, a seed trader named James JH Gregory. Mr. Gregory later introduced it to the market, using Mrs. Hubbard’s name as the namesource . Gregory later bred and released the Blue Hubbard, which has a bluish-gray skin. The other dominant variety, Golden Hubbard squash, has a bright orange skin. Gregory advertisements for squash date from at least 1859. [10] Hubbard squash, which includes questions regarding the name, is even the subject of “Raising Hubbard Squash in Vermont” for children. [11 1]
  • The Jarrhdale Pumpkin is a pumpkin with gray skin. It is almost identical to the ‘Queensland Blue’ and ‘Sweet Meat’ varieties.
  • Kabocha is a Japanese variety with dark green skin and bright golden-orange flesh.
  • Lakota squash is an American variety.
  • Nanticoke squash is a rare heirloom variety that was traditionally grown by the Nanticoke people of Delaware and eastern Maryland. It is one of only a few surviving Native American winter squash from the eastern woodlands.
  • The turban squash , also known as the “French turban”, is a heritage dating back to 1820, and is closely related to the buttercup squash.


Buttercup squash, a common variety, like pumpkin, can be roasted, baked, and mashed into soups, among a variety of filling uses. It is extremely popular in Brazil, Colombia and Africa, especially in soup form.

All giant pumpkins (over 100 pounds or 45 kilograms) belong to this species, including the largest pumpkin ever known, which has grown to 2,624.6 pounds (1,190.5 kilograms) as of 2020.


Various squash types of this species were introduced to North America in the early 16th century. By the American Revolution, the species was being cultivated by Native American tribes throughout the present-day United States. By the early 19th century, at least three cultivars are known to have been introduced commercially in North America from seeds obtained from Native Americans. Secondary centers of diversity include India, Bangladesh, Myanmar and possibly the southern Appalachians. The large reddish-orange squash most often seen on Halloween in the United States is C. maxima , but should not be confused with the orange type used for jack-o’-lanterns, which C. It’s Pepo . [14]


  • Distinctive “Zaplito” summer squash fruit.
  • A pink banana squash, cut, seeds removed, with US quarters for size comparison.
  • A buttercup squash.
  • an edible squash
  • An open blue Hubbard squash.
  • A golden Hubbard squash.
  • Variety of fruits C. Maxima ssp. Andriana from Argentina [15]
  • A terrace growing vine.
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  • plant