Q:

Where did the pumpkin plant originate?

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Quick Answer

The pumpkin plant originated in Mexico, dating between 7000 and 5500 B.C. Initially, only the pumpkin seeds were consumed, as the flesh was considered too bitter to eat. Once the continuous farming of the seeds amended the taste, Native Americans began to eat the whole plant.

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Full Answer

Some Native Americans planted pumpkin seeds with corn and beans. They called these the three sisters, as they felt planting them together improved yield. The corn supported the bean vines, while the pumpkin leaves provided shade to the corn's shallow roots. This held in moisture and discouraged weeds. The bean roots gave nitrogen to the soil.

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