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Cucurbita moschata (Duch. ex Lamk) Duch. ex Poiret

Cucurbita moschata (Duch. ex Lamk) Duch. ex Poiret

Family

Cucurbitaceae

Synonyms

Cucurbita pepo L. var. moschata

Vernacular Names

Malaysia

Labu merah, labu parang.

English

Pumpkin, winter squash, summer squash, marrow, cushaw, gourd.

Indonesia

Waluh, labu, labu merah.

Papua New Guinea

Pamkin.

Philippines

Kalabasa.

Cambodia

Lo-pëu.

Laos

F’ak kh'am, f’ak th'oong, 'ü'.

Thailand

Fak-thong (Central), namtao farang (Peninsular).

Vietnam

B[is] d[or], b[is] ng[oo].

French

Courge, potiron, courgette.

Geographical Distributions

The genus Cucurbita comprising about 25 species, is of New World origin. Central Mexico is considered the centre of origin of Cucurbita moschata. Archaeological evidence for the association of cultivated Cucurbita with man dates back to about 8000 BC. Wild forms have never been found. C. moschata spreads both north (United States) and south (Central and northern South America). After the discovery of the New World, Cucurbita species were introduced into the Old World, and secondary centres of diversity developed, mainly in Asia. 

Description

Cucurbita moschata is a vine with hard and angular stem.

The leaves are soft hairy, not harsh, large and shallowly lobed. The petal is with widely spreading and mostly reflexed lobes.

The fruit is a pepo. The fruit stalk is hard, smoothly grooved and enlarged at fruit attachment.

Ecology / Cultivation

Cucurbita moschata is grown in the tropics from the lowlands up to 1500 m altitude. They are warm season crops adapted to monthly mean temperatures of 18-27°C. C. moschata is the least tolerant of low temperatures. The species is relatively insensitive to photoperiod, although both photoperiod and temperature influence the ratio of male to female flowers (long days and high temperatures favouring male sex expression). C. moschata is not very demanding with respect to soil requirements. It can be cultivated on almost any fertile, well-drained soil with a neutral or slightly acid reaction (pH 5.5-7). It is drought-tolerant, requires relatively little water, and is sensitive to waterlogging. Excessive humidity is harmful because of the development of leaf diseases, so none of the species does well in the humid tropics.

Line Drawing / Photograph

Cucurbita_moschata

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References

1.       Plant Resources of South-East Asia No.8: Vegetables.