Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Butternut Squash, Winter Squash, Calabaza, Cuban Pumpkin, Zapallo
Cucurbita moschata

Family: Cucurbitaceae (koo-ker-bih-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Cucurbita (koo-KER-bih-ta) (Info)
Species: moschata (MOSS-kuh-ta) (Info)

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10 members have or want this plant for trade.

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Butternut (winter)

8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

Days to Maturity:
81 to 90 days

Mature Skin Color:

Less than 1 pound (0.5 kg)
2 to 3 pounds (1 to 2 kg)
4 to 6 pounds (2 to 3 kg)

Climbing (greenhouse)

Disease Resistance:
Unknown - Tell us

Seed Type:
Open Pollinated

Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Propagation Methods:
From seed; sow indoors before last frost
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds

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6 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive donnanwill On Dec 10, 2012, donnanwill from Wake Forest, NC wrote:

Calabaza West Indies Pumpkin Squash Seeds came from the Caribbean St Kitts Island. Mid March 2012 planting under Growlite in basement, then mid April planting at home garden, mid June 12 # squash used for great soup. INVASIVE: The two plants tried to take over our 100X100 garden & did! Over 1000 feet of vine & abundant 2 # to 30 # fruit. Even climbed onto our Grape Arbor & produced four 2 #er squash along the 24 ft length.
Our 13 July Fall Community Garden planting produced 25 squash within 60 days with a 10 Nov final harvest of many, plus a 50 #er, pictures will follow. Fantastic as inch cubed, slathered with olive oil & coupled with chopped celery, onion & spiced, then roasted at 400F for 45-60 minutes.
Same vine produced a variety of squash configurations & colors, 2# darkgreen pumpkin type, 12 to 30 # that were watermellon shaped & varigated greens, to the 50 # 18 inch diameter round version. Dark greens turned yellow/orange & keep well, but watermellon configuration had quickly started rot spots if skin was punctured & needed immediate processing of the good portions.

Positive coachhaze On Jun 29, 2012, coachhaze from Morganton, NC wrote:

Currently growing zapallo in Morganton,NC. The vines are vigorous and are growing with sunflowers and have a few squash on the vines now. I planted seeds thjat were 2 yrs old and was surprised that all germinated and grew. This is my 1st experience growing zapallos and if they are successful I will definitely grow them again.

Positive Tefoe On Feb 22, 2011, Tefoe from Lakeland, FL wrote:

Well.... It taste like squash, winter squash.
Other than that, its amazingly disease and pest resistant, out of this world so, unless you have a long standing cultivated variety, of witch they seem to be less vigorous and hardy.
I obtained my seeds from an Hispanic family that brought the seeds with them, when they came here from southern Mex.
Ive been growing them for a couple years now, and they've come to be the only winter squash I grow, As here in C.FL without tons of spraying very, very few other squash can take the on the bugs and be as unscathed.
Love the heat, can go without being watered in all but the driest of weeks, they send down huge tap roots.
The best squash to get blossoms off of to eat, because they produce hundreds in the season. The stem tips are very nice too, fry them up!!
Just be careful where you put them, they take over any part of the yard they're put in.

Neutral menageriemaven On Aug 6, 2010, menageriemaven from Upton, MA wrote:

The plant itself is growing like wildfire--lots of blooms, lots of bees buzzing around. It has escaped the chain link fence and is headed across the back yard. I need to rescue other plants in my small garden from it several times a week. However, the original sprouting site of the plant and the next 5 or 6 feet, including all the flowers, have died. I'm not sure it will ever produce any pumpkins. I've not grown this plant before. Last year in the same location, I had a blue hubbard squash that did very well. There are also cucumber plants in the same plot that are producing cucumbers abundantly. Any ideas? I live in Massachusetts about 40 miles west of Boston.

Positive BR_G On Aug 3, 2010, BR_G from Hohenwald, TN wrote:

does anyone have these seeds?

Positive rtsquirrel On Aug 10, 2005, rtsquirrel from Santa Cruz, CA wrote:

I've grown these in San Diego and Santa Cruz, CA. Great results in both locales. Current plant growing like crazy, have had to restrict it's growth, it wants to rule the world. biggest fruits 5-10 lbs, creamy orange when ripe, stores very well. I recommend the soup, lots of great recipes on the net.

Positive Michaelp On Oct 9, 2002, Michaelp from Glendale, UT (Zone 5a) wrote:

Verry vigorous vine/can grow or spread to 60'/branched tendrils will wrap around anything they contact/large squashlike leaves with white markings/every place a stem touches the ground it will root at the base of the leaf, this can help keep ahead of borers/fruits are verry attractive mottled green and cream,weigh about 10 lbs.Cook like any other squash.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

San Diego, California
Santa Cruz, California
Bartow, Florida
Fort Myers, Florida
Lakeland, Florida
Orlando, Florida
Rockledge, Florida
Greenwood, Missouri
Wake Forest, North Carolina

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