Cucurbita species– differences;


Cucurbita filicifolia chilacayote or Malabar gourd : 1 post by 1 author. Attachments (1)
Cucurbita is a genus with numerous cultivars whose names can be most confusing the commonly used names pumpkin, squash, gourd, summer squash, winter squash could belong to any of the commonly grown species.
Cucurbita filicifolia: Leaves orbicular-ovate to reniform, with shallow obtuses sinuses, corolla lobes large spreading, fruit green with white stripes, flesh white, seeds dark. 

Cucurbita maxima: Leaves shallowly lobed, sinus narrow obtuse;petiole not prickly; calyx linear-lanceolate; fruiting peduncle not grooved, not expanded at tip below fruit; corolla soft spreading or drooping.
Cucurbita mixta: Leaves shallowly lobed, cordate at base, surface with white patches; petiole not prickly; peduncle in fruit angled, corky, enlarged at tip; male flower with long staminal column
Cucurbita moschata: Leaves scarcely lobed, ovate-orbicular with white patches; petiole not prickly; calyx lobes large leafy; peduncle angled expanded at tip; corolla lobes spreading, crinky, acute.
Cucurbita pepo: Leaves ovate-triangular, deeply lobed, sinus broad, petiole prickly; prduncle 5-6 angled, grooved, expanded at tip; corolla erect sharp pointed.
Plus I have found growing wild here the following species with very distinct leaves:
Cucurbita foetidissima: Leaves ovate-triangular, stiff, greyish, greyish; flowers large; fruit 6-8 cm, spherical, striped green and yellow, foetid, not edible.
Could any member find and upload key to these species of Cucurbita
I am uploading fruit of C. filicifolia sold in stores here, known as Chilacayote or Malabar gourd, Fig-leaf gourd. From name Malabar gourd I wonder whether plant is grown in India or not.

The names pumkins and squashes are very commonly used names with hundreds of cultivars with little or no fixity with species. They mostly all belong to Cucurbita, but well belong to any of the common species: Cucurbita  maxima, Cucurbita moschata, Cucurbita pepo, Cucurbita mixta or Cucurbita ficifolia. The leaves, flowers and fruit shape and colour rarely help in identification. The only reliable feature for identification is the stalk of mature fruit, especially at the point of attachment to the fruit base. Here are some pointers:
Cucurbita maxima: Stalk soft and spongy, not ridged, not enlarged at apex
Cucurbita moschata: Stalk hard, angled, expanded at apex, but angles not individually attached to fruit base.
Cucurbita pepo: stalk hard, strongly angled, especially near apex with each finger attached to the fruit base
Cucurbita mixta: Stalk hard, angled, enlarged by hard cork




How to differentiate important species of Cucurbita?:  There are hundreds of cultivars of Cucurbita and species are often difficult to identify. I am uploading few to show the differences. The species can be identified by the structure of the tip of pedicel where it is attached to the base on fruit.
1. Cucurbita maxima….it is soft and not expanded at tip
2. Cucurbita is expanded angular pad, with a small constriction between pad and fruit.
3. Cucurbita pepo: it is expanded with extended fingers firmly attached to fruit.


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