HERB - the period pumpkin

RAISYA RAISYA at aol.com
Wed Apr 29 10:49:25 PDT 1998


Your list includes pumpkins and winter squash in the C. moschata species, but
some lists include only the butternut, "Kentucky field" and "cheese" types.
The cheese types do resemble a small flattened pumpkin, but they aren't.  They
are hard-shelled, which fits the period description.  Apparently there has
been a reclassification of the species recently, my lists have the ones you
show as C. mixta as C. pepo and C. maxima, while C. mixta is primarily defined
as cushaws (?) and varieties that resemble C. moschata but cannot cross with

There does seem to be some evidence that the species weren't as strictly
seperated as has been assumed in the past.  There is a variety of C. maxima,
the Jarrahdale, that appears to be an Australian native.  It looks like a
flattened greyish pumpkin.  But that species is supposed to be from the

I suspect this is a question that can no longer be answered with certainty.
I'm not comfortable with the edible gourd theory, the illumination shows
"pumpkins" that are at least a foot long, and don't look like any gourds I'm
familiar with.  Edible gourds have to be eaten very young and small, as far as
I know  The flowers in the illumination are small and white, though, so maybe
there WAS a species of gourd that looked like a butternut squash but is now
extinct.  I think I need a good look at a gourd plant, I've never grown one

 >So the unit that botanists talk about in terms of domesticated gourds,
melons >and pumpkins are the domesticated plants in the Cucurbitaceae.

I thought gourds belonged to the Laganeria (sp?) genus?

Mistress Christiana,

Thanks for the story about the Jack-o-Lantern!

And thanks, everyone, for all the input!

Raisya Khorivovna
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