Squash or 'Cucurbita' is Latin for the word 'gourd' and is a vine of edible fruit that is grown worldwide. It is likely that squash originated in Mexico, was brought to North America and was then shipped to Europe. History shows that squash has been used for at least 2000 years or more. The plants grow as an annual vine with male and female yellow flowers that are pollinated by bees and insects. The fruit are commonly known as squash, pumpkin or the inedible gourd. The edible fruits are good sources of vitamins A and C, potassium, fiber, niacin, folic acid, iron; they are also free of cholesterol. The fruit and seeds are also used as Old World medicines to treat intestinal aliments and parasites. Gourds have been used for cosmetics and are also used for decorations and bird houses. In the U.S., pumpkins are prized for making delicious pies and are carved and used as popular fall decorations.
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