Cucurbita pepo

The vegetable marrow, or squash, which originated in Central America. This species formed one of the kingpins of ancient Aztec farming, in which maize, beans, and squash were grown in a system of mixed cropping that both supplied a remarkably complete diet, and has proved remarkably sustainable. However, this system is labour-intensive and will not allow the use of selective herbicides.

This species is a very variable, monoecious, annual herb. Most modern breeding has involved pedigree breeding with transfers of vertical resistance genes, and the production of hybrid varieties. In Europe, the seed is used as a source of high quality oil, and a mutant, lacking the heavy seed coat, produces seed containing 45-50% oil. There is scope of recurrent mass selection by amateur breeders . Cucurbita spp.

This genus originated in the area of Mexico-Guatemala and has twenty-six species , of which five are cultivated. The principle cultivated species is Cucurbita pepo, and is described separately. In addition C. moschata, C. maxima, C. ficifolia, and C. mixta, provide winter squash in Central America and parts of South America. They provide scope for recurrent mass selection by local plant breeding clubs. Cucurbitaceae

The botanical family that includes cucumbers, pumpkins, melons, etc. Most species are open-pollinated, and many are monoecious, and provide scope for amateur plant breeders. The main cultivated species are the wax or white gourd (Benincasa hispida) used as a vegetable in S.E. Asia; the water melon (Citrullus lanatus); the west Indian gherkin (Cucumis anguria); the melon (Cucumis melo); the cucumbers and gherkins (Cucumis sativus); the pumpkin (Cucurbita spp.); the marrow (Cucurbita pepo); the bottle gourd (Lagenaria siceraria); the loofah (Luffa spp.); the bitter gourd (Momordica charantia); and the choyote or christophine (Sechium edule). Cucurbits

Members of the botanical family Cucurbitaceae. Cultigen

A plant species or variety that is known only in cultivation. See also: cultivar; extinct wild progenitors. Cultivar

A cultivated variety, which has originated and persisted under cultivation, as opposed to a botanical variety, which is a component of a wild species . Cultivar names should be written with capital letters and enclosed in single quotation marks (e.g., 'Russet Burbank'), but some authors prefer to use italics without quotation marks. A cultivar is usually a pure lines, a clones, or a hybrid variety, and it is genetically uniform, and genetically inflexible. A cultivar consequently cannot respond to selection pressures during cultivation. See also: ecotype, agro-ecotype, landrace, micro-evolution.

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