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Pumpkin
Cucurbitaceae
Cucurbita pepo


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Thunder
Type Categories Useful Parts

Vine



Cucurbitaceae Family

Cucurbita Genus

Location

Pumpkins are cultivated in North America, continental Europe, Australia, New Zealand, India, and some other countries

Physical Description
Pumpkins generally weigh 9–18 lbs (4–8 kg) with the largest (of the species C. maxima) capable of reaching a weight of over 75 lbs (34 kg). The pumpkin varies greatly in shape, ranging from oblate through oblong. The rind is smooth and usually lightly ribbed. Although pumpkins are usually orange or yellow, some fruits are dark green, pale green, orange-yellow, white, red and gray.

Pumpkins are monoecious, having both male and female flowers, the latter distinguished by the small ovary at the base of the petals. These bright and colorful flowers have extremely short life spans and may only open for as short a time as one day. The color of pumpkins is derived from the orange pigments abundant in them

The pumpkin fruit grows annually on vines that may reach up to 26 ft in length. Pumpkin plants are characterized by the presence of large and bristly leaves, they bear large, yellow, and solitary flowers from which the fruit will eventually develop. One of the easiest fruits to recognize, the pumpkin fruit is a very large, orange to greenish colored fibrous fruit. The fruit of the pumpkin is notched by many shallow grooves and possess many flattened oval seeds in the fleshy interior.




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Cucurbitaceae
Cucurbitaceae
Cucurbitales
Cucurbitales
Order of Cucumbers
NOX Clad
Nitrogen Bean Clad
Oxid-Faba
Fabidae
Bean-Like Class
Eurosids
Real Rose Class
Rosids
Rosids
Rose-Like Class
Core Eudicots
Core Eudicots
Main, Real, Two First-Leaves (Dicots)
Eudicots
Eudicots
Real, Two First-Leaves (Dicots)
Mesangiospermae
Mesangiospermae
Half Capsule Seed Division
Magnoliophyta
Magnoliophyta
Magnolia Division
Spermatophytes
Spermatophytes
Seed Plants
Euphyllophytina
Real Land Plants
Polysporangiates
Multiple Spore Sub-Kingdom
Stomatophytes
Stomatophytes
Air Pores Sub-Kingdom
Embryophytes
Embryophytes
Multicellular Land Plants
Streptobionta
Streptobionta
Multicellular Plants
Plantae
Plantae
Plants
Eukaryota
Eukaryota
Cells with a Nucleus


General Information

Americans dried strips of pumpkin and wove them into mats. They also roasted long strips of pumpkin on the open fire and ate them. The origin of pumpkin pie occurred when the colonists sliced off the pumpkin top, removed the seeds, and filled the insides with milk, spices, and honey. The pumpkin was then baked in hot ashes.

Native American civilizations in south and Central America considered the pumpkins along with many other squash species, in addition to the beans and the corn plant, as being the "three sisters"- they formed the main food crops of all the early American civilizations and were cultivated together by native peoples. Nitrogen was fixed into the soil by the bean vines which also used the cornstalks as their fixed support for climbing. Squash with its large leaves was used to provide shade for growing the plants so as to help the soil retain moisture during arid seasons

Medicinal Uses: The seeds are primarily used in herbal medicine. The yellow blossoms of pumpkins are also used as medicine in some native traditions.

Pumpkin seed oil, has long been believed to be a folk remedy for prostate problems, it has in fact been shown to combat benign prostatic hyperplasia. Pumpkin seed oil contains fatty acids which help maintain healthy blood vessels and nerves, and are loaded with essential fatty acids that help to maintain healthy blood vessels, nerves and tissues

Native Americans used pumpkin flesh and seeds for food. Their use of the seeds for the treatment of intestinal infections eventually led the United States Pharmacopoeia to list pumpkin seeds as an official medicine for parasite elimination from 1863 to 1936. Native Americans also commonly used pumpkin seeds to treat a variety of kidney problems. The flowers were used topically to soothe minor injuries. Eclectic physicians (doctors who recommended herbal medicine) at the end of the 19th century used pumpkin seeds to treat urinary tract problems and gastritis, and to remove tapeworms and roundworms from the intestines.

Food Uses: The bright orange color of pumpkin is a dead giveaway that pumpkin is loaded with an important antioxidant, beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is one of the plant carotenoids converted to vitamin A in the body. In the conversion to vitamin A, beta carotene performs many important functions in overall health. Pumpkins are used to make pumpkin butter, pies, custard, bread, cookies, and soup.

Pumpkins are very versatile in their uses for cooking, from the fleshy shell, to the seeds, to even the flowers; most parts of the pumpkin are edible. Traditionally, pumpkin is a very popular Halloween and Thanksgiving staple. Although most people use store-bought canned pumpkin, homemade pumpkin purée can serve the same purpose

When ripe, the pumpkin can be boiled, baked, steamed, or roasted. Often, it is made into Pie, various kinds of which are a traditional staple of the Canadian and American Thanksgiving holiday. Pumpkins that are still small and green may be eaten in the same way as the vegetable marrow zucchini. Pumpkins can also be eaten mashed or incorporated into soup. In the Middle East, pumpkin is used for sweet dishes; a well-known sweet delicacy is called halawa yaqtin. In South Asian countries such as India, pumpkin is cooked with butter, sugar, and spices in a dish called kadu ka halwa. In Guangxi province, China, the leaves of the pumpkin plant are consumed as a cooked vegetable or in soups. In Australia, pumpkin is often roasted in conjunction with other vegetables. In Japan, small pumpkins are served in savory dishes, including tempura. In Thailand, small pumpkins are steamed with custard inside and served as a dessert. In Italy it can be used with cheeses as a savory stuffing for ravioli. Also, pumpkin can be used to flavor both alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages.

Pumpkin seed oil is a thick, green oil that is produced from roasted pumpkin seeds. When used for cooking or as a salad dressing, pumpkin-seed oil is generally mixed with other oils because of its robust flavor. It is used in cooking in central and eastern Europe.

Other Notes: Pumpkin - is the main Halloween symbol. According to one of the versions, traditional Halloween lamps ”Jacks” were invented by Druids, Celtic priests, to conjure away fiends, flooding our world on the night of November 1. According to another version, pumpkin lights, wandering in the dark, symbolize souls, lost between heaven and hell. A third version tells about some drunkard Jack, who managed to trick the Devil himself, according to a legend. Of course, he was not allowed into paradise after death, and was dismissed from hell. And Jack was doomed to eternal rambling in the dark, having only one small piece of coal to illuminate his road. He put it in an empty turnip - to make it burn longer. Supposedly his descendants started using pumpkin for these purposes.



Pumpkin




Pumpkin




Pumpkin


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