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TABLE 109.1 Botanical Classification of Cucurbita pepo L.

Kingdom

Subkingdom

Superdivision

Division

Class

Subclass

Order

Family

Genus

Species

Plantae

Tracheobionta

Spermatophyta

Magnoliophyta

Magnoliopsida

Dilleniidae

Violales

Cucurbitaceae

Cucurbita L.

Cucurbita pepo

Plants

Vascular plants Seed plants Flowering plants Dicotyledons

Cucumber family Gourd

Field pumpkin

FIGURE 109.1

Images of Cucurbita pepo L. plant: (A) flower and the leaves; (B) fruit. The fruit can be very variable in size, shape and color.

FIGURE 109.1

Images of Cucurbita pepo L. plant: (A) flower and the leaves; (B) fruit. The fruit can be very variable in size, shape and color.

(Figure 109.1A), with or without white spots, often with three to five deep lobules. Tendrils have two to six branchlets, or are simple and little developed. The flowers are pentamerous. The fruit is very variable in size and shape, with a rigid skin varying in color from light to dark green, plain to speckled, with cream or green contrasting with yellow or orange, or two-colored (Figure 109.1B). The flesh is cream to yellowish or pale orange, ranges from being soft and not bitter to fibrous and bitter. The pumpkin has numerous seeds, which are narrowly or broadly elliptical or, rarely, orbicular, and slightly flattened. Pumpkin seeds are dark green (because of the presence of protochlorophylls). They may be encased in a yellow-white husk (hulled or husked seeds), although some pumpkins produce seeds without shells (hull-less or naked seeds) which have only very thin dark-green skin. These two varieties of C. pepo seeds are shown in Figure 109.2(A, B).

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