Cucurbita maxima

Cucurbita maxima

Cucurbita maxima, the Buttercup squash is an edible type of winter squash with a turban-shape (a flattish top and dark green skin), weighing 3-5 pounds, and normally heavy with yellow-orange flesh.

Lakota squash is a heirloom variety of C. maxima. Fruits weigh from four to eleven lbs. The shape of the fruit can be tear-drop or round, and they are colored in a mottled orange and green pattern. It is desired both for its eating qualities and as a seasonal decoration. This variety traces its ancestry to the Lakota of the Dakotas among whom its cultivation predates white settlement.

Hubbard squash is another cultivar of this species that is usually a 'tear-drop' shape. They are often used as a replacement for pumpkins. According to one source, the name comes from Bela Hubbard, settler of Randolph Township, Ohio in the Connecticut Western Reserve. Many other sources list an alternate history. These sources state that the Hubbard squash (at the time nameless) came to Marblehead, Massachusetts through Captain Knott Martin. A woman named Elizabeth Hubbard brought the fruit to the attention of her neighbor, a seed trader named James J. H. Gregory. Mr. Gregory subsequently introduced it to the market using Mrs. Hubbard's name as the eponym. Gregory later bred and released the Blue Hubbard. Gregory advertisements for the squash date from at least 1859. The Hubbard Squash, including questions regarding the name, is even the subject of a children's ditty, "Raising Hubbard Squash in Vermont".

Uses

Buttercup squash 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.

References

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