Bottle Gourd

DESCRIPTION: The macrobotanical item that I analyzed was an intact cucurbita pepo cucurbitaceae seed. The seed measured 1.5 cm in length and was off-white in color. A distinct oval morphology was easily discernable, marked by a protuberance outlining the surface edge of the seed. Mature cucurbita pepo plants are generally cylindrical and can grow any where from six inches to well over a foot in length. Their color ranges from dark green to yellow. Many plants, as well as the leaves found at their neck, are speckled. Cultivation is not difficult yet the cucurbita pepo is susceptible to frost. The plant grows in bushes unlike its close relative, the winter squash, which grows on vines. Common names for the cucurbita pepo cucurbitceae include squash and/or zucchini squash

History & Uses: The origin of the cucurbita pepo cucurbitceae probably lies somewhere in Central America. The squash has been extensively domesticated in the western hemi-sphere. Zucchini squash is a popular plant for consumption. Some varieties require an early harvest while others are edible at larger sizes. Many different dishes can be prepared with this squash including a number soups, salads, and casseroles. Seeds can be ground and added to cereals and breads. Flowers and leaves can be steamed in stews or dried for later use. Precautions must be taken though, because the cucurbita pepo can be toxic in its embryonic stage.


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Lagenaria siceraria
This page was authored by Michael Pisciotta