(95 days) Open-pollinated. Eight kinds of early-maturing types, with small spoon, bicolored pear, and small orange most prevalent. ② ③
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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.
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.