Pumpkin (Cucurbita maxima, Cucurbita pepo)

Pumpkin (Cucurbita maxima, Cucurbita pepo)
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C. maxima
C. mixta
C. moschata
C. pepo

Pumpkin is a fruit of the species Cucurbita pepo or Cucurbita mixta or it can refer to a specific variety of the species Cucurbita maxima or Cucurbita moschata which are all of the genus Cucurbita and the family Cucurbitaceae [1].

Although the pumpkin is botanically classified as a fruit (the ripened ovary of a flowering plant), it is widely regarded as a vegetable. The pumpkin’s insides are commonly eaten, cooked and served in dishes such as pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, and pumpkin soup; the seeds may also be roasted for consumption.

Since some squash share the same botanical classifications as pumpkins, the names are frequently used interchangeably. In general, pumpkin stems are firmer, more rigid, prickly, have +/- a 5 degree angle, and squarer in shape than squash stems which are generally softer, more rounded, and more flared where joined to the fruit. [2] [3]

Pumpkins generally weigh 9–18 lbs (4–8 kg) with the largest (of the species c. maxima) capable of reaching over 75 lbs (34 kg) [4]. The pumpkin varies greatly in shape, ranging from oblate through oblong. The rind is smooth and usually lightly ribbed [4]. Although pumpkins are usually orange or yellow [3] , some fruits are dark green, pale green, orange-yellow, white, red and gray.[citation needed]

Pumpkins have male and female flowers, the latter distinguished by the small ovary at the base of the petals. The bright, colorful flowers are short-lived and may open for as little as one day.[citation needed]