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Cucurbita.

Related entry: Cucurbita pepo

Cucurbita maxima Duchesne. Cucurbitaceae. Turban Squash.

Nativity undetermined. The Turban squash is easily recognized by its form, to which it is indebted for its name. This is possibly the Chilean mamillary Indian gourd of Molina, described as with spheroidal fruit with a large nipple at the end, the pulp sweet and tasting like the sweet potato. In 1856, Naudin describes le turban rouge and le turban nouveau du Bresil, the latter of recent introduction from South America. Its description accords with the Cucurbita clypeiformis tuberoso and verrucoso, seen by J. Bauhin in 1607. The Zapilliot, from Brazil, advertised by Gregory in 1880, and said by Vilmorin to have reached France from South America about 1860, resembles the Turban squash in shape. This evidence, such as it is, points to South America as the starting point of this form.

The squashes of our markets, par excellence, are the marrows and the Hubbard, with other varieties of the succulent-stemmed. These found representation in our seed catalog in 1828, in the variety called Corn. Porter's Valparaiso, which was brought from Chile shortly after the war of 1812. In the New England Farmer, September 11, 1824, notice is made of a kind of melon-squash or pumpkin from Chile, which is possibly the Valparaiso. The Hubbard squash is said by Gregory, its introducer in 1857, to be of unknown origin but to resemble a kind which was brought by a sea captain from the West Indies. The Marblehead, also introduced by Gregory and distributed in 1867, is said to have come directly from the West Indies. The Autumnal Marrow or Ohio, was introduced in 1832 and was exhibited at the rooms of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society.

The Turban squash does not appear in any of the figures or descriptions of the herbalists, except as hereinafter noted for Lobel.

Cucurbita moschata Duchesne. Canada Crookneck. Cushaw. Winter Crookneck.

Nativity undetermined. The Winter Crookneck squash seems to have been first recorded by Ray, who received the seeds from Sir Hans Sloane and planted them in his garden. This is the variety now known as the Striped. It has apparently been grown in New England from the earliest times and often attains a large size. Josselyn refers to a cucurbit that may be this, the fruit " longish like a gourd," the very comparison made by Ray. Kalm mentions a winter squash in New Jersey called "crooked neck," and Carver, 1776, speaks of "crane-necks" being preserved in the West for winter supply.

A sub variety, the Puritan, answers to Beverley's description of a form which he calls Cushaw, an Indian name recognizable in the Ecushaw of Hariot, 1586. This form was grown at the New York Agricultural Experiment Station in 1884 from seed obtained from the Seminoles of Florida and appears synonymous with the Neapolitan, to which Vilmorin applies the French synonym, courge de la Florida.


Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World, 1919, was edited by U. P. Hedrick.



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