Cucurbita pepo var. ovifera (100 days) Open-pollinated. These are to gourds as the 1957 Cadillac was to cars. They have a double set of fins or wings. The car makers claimed aerodynamic advantages for their design; the gourd breeders make no such assertion. Both the gourd and the car are highly conspicuous. Autumn Wings’ colors, a vivid mix of greens, yellows, creams and whites, make them even more so. Some of these gourds are straight necked and others are curved. They vary in size, too, one half small, one quarter medium and the remainder in the large 6–8" range. We stop short of claiming them to be the Cadillac of gourds, but bet they’ll make a good roadside stand attraction. ②
1957 Autumn Wings
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One of the oldest domesticated species. Pepo derives from the Greek pepon, meaning ‘ripened by the sun.’ They have hard 5-sided ribbed stems, and fruits are usually ribbed. They also include summer squashes and small gourds, as well as some pumpkins.
About 500 seeds/oz.
Days to maturity are from emergence after direct sowing.
These vigorous viners will usually mature their ornamental fruits in our climate if direct-seeded after danger of frost. Use wire hoops and row cover to keep out cucumber beetles.
All gourds are open-pollinated.
Gourds come in two major categories (Luffa is a third). The small ones are Cucurbita pepo var. ovifera, known as ornamental gourds for their variety of shapes, colors and surfaces. These vigorous viners will usually mature in our climate if direct-seeded. The larger ones are Lagenaria siceraria or hardshell gourds, named from the Greek lagenos, ‘a flask,’ and sicera, ‘an intoxicating drink.’ Lagenaria lack the color range of their smaller cousins, but fascinate with their magical shapes. Because of their hard shells they are the type most commonly used for crafts, musical instruments and utensils.
For the latest results of our germination tests, please see the germination page.