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Cucurbita moschata - (Duchesne. ex Lam.)Duchesne. ex Poir.                
                 
Common Name Squash
Family Cucurbitaceae
Synonyms
Known Hazards The sprouting seed produces a toxic substance in its embryo[65].
Habitats Not known in the wild.
Range Origin is obscure.
Edibility Rating  
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Tender Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun

Summary       

Physical Characteristics       
 icon of manicon of flower
Cucurbita moschata is a ANNUAL CLIMBER growing to 0.6 m (2ft) by 5 m (16ft 5in) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone 10 and is frost tender. It is in flower from Jul to September, and the seeds ripen from Aug to October. The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and are pollinated by Insects.The plant is self-fertile.


USDA hardiness zone : Coming soon


Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

Cucurbita moschata Squash


http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utilisateur:Jeantosti
Cucurbita moschata Squash
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Tanzania
   
Habitats       
 Cultivated Beds;
Edible Uses                                         
Edible Parts: Flowers;  Fruit;  Leaves;  Oil;  Seed.
Edible Uses: Oil.

Fruit - cooked[2, 27, 46, 105]. Some cultivars have a delicious flavour when baked, rather like a sweet potato[K]. The flesh can be dried and ground into a powder then used in making breads etc[183]. Some varieties can be stored for up to 9 months. Seed - raw or cooked[57, 86, 105]. Rich in oil with a pleasant nutty flavour[183] but very fiddly to use because the seed is small and covered with a fibrous coat[K]. An edible oil is obtained from the seed[183]. Leaves and young stems - cooked and used as a potherb or added to soups, stews etc[105, 135, 183]. Flowers - cooked[105, 135, 183].
Medicinal Uses


Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Anthelmintic;  Galactogogue.

The seed is vermifuge[147]. It is eaten fresh or roasted for the relief of abdominal cramps and distension due to intestinal worms[218]. About 800 peeled seeds is said to make a safe and effective treatment for tape worm[218]. They are ground into a fine flour, then made into an emulsion with water and eaten. It is then necessary to take a purge in order to expel the tapeworms or other parasites from the body[7]. The boiled root is galactogogue[218].
Other Uses
Oil.

None known
Cultivation details                                         
Requires a rich, well-drained moisture retentive soil and a very warm, sunny and sheltered position[1, 37, 86]. Prefers a pH of 5.5 to 5.9, but tolerates up to 6.8[86]. Moderate rainfall favours growth, but the roots of most cultivars are sensitive to high soil-water levels[200]. The squash is a frost-tender annual plant that is widely cultivated, especially in warm temperate and tropical areas, for its edible fruit[27]. There are very many named varieties widely differing in size shape and taste[27, 183]. Some varieties are used in the summer and autumn whilst others are harvested in the autumn and can be stored for several months. Succeeds outdoors most years in Britain[27]. Plants are more suited to warmer climates than Britain[200] and are only really successful in good summers in this country, they do not do well in the north[86]. Most cultivars are day-length neutral[200]. This species only hybridizes with other members of the genus under controlled conditions[86, 135]. Grows well with sweetcorn, radishes and nasturtium but dislikes potatoes[18, 20]. Squashes and pumpkins can be differentiated from each other by their fruit stalk, it is angular and polygonal in pumpkins but thick, soft and round in squashes[132].
                                                                                 
Propagation                                         
Seed - sow early to mid spring in a greenhouse in a rich soil. Germination should take place within 2 weeks. Sow 2 or 3 seeds per pot and thin out to the best plant. Grow them on fast and plant out after the last expected frosts, giving them cloche or frame protection for at least their first few weeks if you are trying them outdoors.
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Expert comment                                         
 
      
Author                                         
(Duchesne. ex Lam.)Duchesne. ex Poir.
                                                                                 
Botanical References                                         
200
                                                                                 
Links / References                                         

  [K] Ken Fern Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.

[1]F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaces in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
[2]Hedrick. U. P. Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World.
Lots of entries, quite a lot of information in most entries and references.
[7]Chiej. R. Encyclopaedia of Medicinal Plants.
Covers plants growing in Europe. Also gives other interesting information on the plants. Good photographs.
[18]Philbrick H. and Gregg R. B. Companion Plants.
Details of beneficial and antagonistic relationships between neighbouring plants.
[20]Riotte. L. Companion Planting for Successful Gardening.
Fairly good.
[27]Vilmorin. A. The Vegetable Garden.
A reprint of a nineteenth century classic, giving details of vegetable varieties. Not really that informative though.
[37]Thompson. B. The Gardener's Assistant.
Excellent general but extensive guide to gardening practices in the 19th century. A very good section on fruits and vegetables with many little known species.
[46]Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants.
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
[57]Schery. R. W. Plants for Man.
Fairly readable but not very comprehensive. Deals with plants from around the world.
[86]Organ. J. Gourds.
Deals with squashes and their relatives. Interesting and readable, it gives cultivation techniques and some details of plant uses.
[105]Tanaka. T. Tanaka's Cyclopaedia of Edible Plants of the World.
The most comprehensive guide to edible plants I've come across. Only the briefest entry for each species, though, and some of the entries are more than a little dubious. Not for the casual reader.
[132]Bianchini. F., Corbetta. F. and Pistoia. M. Fruits of the Earth.
Lovely pictures, a very readable book.
[135]? The Plantsman. Vol.8. 1986 - 1987.
Excerpts from the periodical giving cultivation details and other notes on some of the useful plants including some Cucurbitaceae.
[147]? A Barefoot Doctors Manual.
A very readable herbal from China, combining some modern methods with traditional chinese methods.
[183]Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants.
Excellent. Contains a very wide range of conventional and unconventional food plants (including tropical) and where they can be obtained (mainly N. American nurseries but also research institutes and a lot of other nurseries from around the world.
[200]Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
[218]Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S. Medicinal Plants of China
Details of over 1,200 medicinal plants of China and brief details of their uses. Often includes an analysis, or at least a list of constituents. Heavy going if you are not into the subject.

Readers comment                                         
 
Elizabeth H.
Clueless Person In Search Of Useful Info And Not Finding Any Tue Oct 10 2006
Can cucurbita moschata survive in flooded areas?
Elizabeth H.
Ajna fern Mon Oct 16 2006
no this plant will not tollerate flooded soils. If you look at the cultivation details at the top of this page you will see that the plant needs freely draining soils
Elizabeth H.
George Michalopoulos Sun Oct 14 2007
What is the tolerance of pollen to high temperatures for butternut squash?
Elizabeth H.
Valerie Lai Mon Oct 29 2007
Can I have the photos on Cucurbita moschata, C. pepo L. & c. maxima to see the difference? Thanks
Fran R.
Mar 31 2013 12:00AM
Perhaps it would be helpful if you used plants' common names... This is butternut squash - grows easily, fabulous vegetable with many uses.
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