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Cucurbita moschata

Phonetic Spelling
koo-KER-bih-ta MOSS-kah-ta
Description

Cucurbita moschata, commonly referred to as winter squash, is a warm-season annual vegetable vine that trails along the ground or climbs up structures using tendrils. It has yellow fruit-bearing flowers that are produced during the summer and fruits maturing late summer to fall. The fruits have a mild flavor and can be fried, baked, added to pasta, used in soups, and more. Native to Central and South America, winter squash is an aggressive grower and prefers moderately moist soil with full access to sunlight. 

Winter squash is best suited for large landscapes, but performs well in vegetable gardens, on trellises, and as a cover for exposed soil.  It is easily sown from seed, especially when soils are warm. Cucurbita moschata should be transplanted in late spring, early summer, or after the last frost. 

Pests, Insects, and Other Plant Problems: Slugs, aphids, and beetles

 

Cucurbita is Latin for gourd

moschata is Latin for musky

 

VIDEO Created by Elisabeth Meyer for "Edibles, Bulbs, and Houseplants" a plant identification course offered in partnership with Longwood Gardens.   

More information on Cucurbita.

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Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#sun#showy flowers#full sun#annual#edible plant#easy to grow#wildlife plant#yellow flowers#edible flowers#colorful#climbing#tendrils#large leaves#fall interest#mass planting#high maintenance#seeds#showy fruits#moist soil#fast growing#easy to transplant#full sun flowers#organic soils#climbing vines#full sunlight#vegetable garden#yellow fruits#large spaces#prickly#edible landscaping#climber#attractive foliage#coarse#blue fruits#rich soil#annuals#annual flowers#green fruits#edible fruits#fall fruits#sunshine#vegetable#edible garden#orange fruits#vertical spaces#green leaves#edible#annual vegetable#fruits#colorful fruits#rough leaves#fruits early fall#fruit#seed#warm season vegetable#wildlife plants#wildlife#large plant#sun tolerant#non-toxic for horses#non-toxic for dogs#edible fruit#moist#non-toxic for cats#show
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Cucurbita
    Species:
    moschata
    Family:
    Cucurbitaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Central and South America
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Colorful
    Easy to Grow
    Edible fruit
    Wildlife Food Source
    Climbing Method:
    Tendrils
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Annual
    Edible
    Ground Cover
    Vegetable
    Vine
    Habit/Form:
    Climbing
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    High
    Texture:
    Coarse
    Appendage:
    Tendrils
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Soil pH:
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4b, 4a, 5b, 5a, 6a, 6b, 7b, 7a, 8a, 8b, 9b, 9a, 10b, 10a, 11b, 11a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Blue
    Cream/Tan
    Gold/Yellow
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    Orange
    Variegated
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Long-lasting
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Berry
    Fruit Length:
    > 3 inches
    Fruit Width:
    > 3 inches
    Fruit Description:
    A type of berry called a pepo that has a hard rind. Fruits may be long or round, large or small, smooth or warty. Comes in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes. Fruits and seeds are both edible.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Solitary
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Funnel
    Star
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    3-6 inches
    Flower Description:
    5-parted yellow flowers. Monecious, with separate male and female flowers on the same plant.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    White
    Leaf Feel:
    Prickly
    Rough
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Peltate
    Leaf Margin:
    Lobed
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Large, simple leaves that are often rough and prickly. Alternate with palmate lobing and venation. May have white splotches near the veins.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Dark green in color.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Vertical Spaces
    Landscape Theme:
    Edible Garden
    Design Feature:
    Mass Planting
    Small groups