HERB - the period pumpkin

RAISYA RAISYA at aol.com
Tue Apr 28 23:39:25 PDT 1998

I've been working on figuring out what the period pumpkin is, and I'd like to
hear from other people.

There's an illumination of the period pumpkin in the 14th century TACUINUM
SANITATIS.  Both the leaves and fruit of the plant look like a butternut
squash.  The modern pumpkin and most squash belong to Cucurbita pepo and
Cucurbita maxima which originated in N. and S. America, while the butternut
squash belongs to Cucurbita moschata.  I haven't found anything suggesting
where the C. moschata originate, but these species rarely cross.  Something
else that seems to support C. moschata being Old world is that the squash
borer, a serious pest of the other 2 species, rarely attacks C. moschata

I think the butternut squash makes the most sense, but maybe there's something
I haven't come across.  Has anyone else looked into this?

Raisya Khorivovna
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