Mystery Squash…


Q: Here is a photo of a squash I grew from seed, but I don’t remember the name of it. Inside, it is a bright orange-yellow colour and very watery. When cooked and scooped out of the shell, it’s almost like a spaghetti squash. It has very large seeds that are bigger than pumpkin seeds. Could you please tell me what kind it is? —M. Wallen

It looks like an overgrown black-skinned zucchini, but I think it’s a cross between several that you might have grown before—possibly even between a zucchini and pumpkin. (I’ll wager you didn’t grow it from bought seeds this year).

It also could have come spontaneously from the compost (is that possible?), in which case it could be a mutant cross between, say, a spaghetti squash (if you or a neighbour grew them) and another orange-fleshed squash of some kind.

Squash don’t breed true—even though they are open-pollinated, you can’t count on them when grown from their own seed unless you isolate varieties for quite a few blocks or even half a mile; they are promiscuous with all the other members of the cucurbit family, including cucumbers!