Winter Squash Plant Information
Winter Squash grows in the following 14 states:North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Utah, Vermont, Wisconsin, Arkansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Virginia
Cucurbita maxima, one of at least five species of cultivated squash, is one of the most diverse domesticated species. This species originated in South America from the wild Cucurbita andreana over 4000 years ago. The two species hybridize quite readily but have noticeably different calcium levels.
Many cultivars of Cucurbita maxima have been developed. As in C. pepo, plants exist with a "bush habit" that is particularly evident in young plants, but older plants grow in the wild-type vining manner.
Buttercup squash, a common cultivar, can be roasted, baked, and mashed into soups, among a variety of filler uses, much like pumpkin. It is extremely popular, especially as a soup, in Brazil and Africa.
All giant pumpkins (>100 pounds (45kg)) are of this species, including the largest pumpkins ever documented, which have attained a size of over 2,300 pounds (1,000kg).
The seed of C. maxima is used in treating parasites in animals.
Different squash types of this species were introduced into North America as early as the 16th century. By the American Revolution, the species was in cultivation by Native American tribes throughout the present-day United States. By the early 19th century, at least three varieties are known to have been commercially introduced in North America from seeds obtained from Native Americans. Secondary centers of diversity include India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, and possibly the southern Appalachians. The large red-orange squashes often seen at Halloween in the United States are C. maxima, but not to be confused with the orange type used for jack-o-lanterns, which are C. pepo.
The Systax database at the University of Ulm lists the following subspecies:
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