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Italian Edible Gourd, Italian Squash, Tasmania Bean, Zucchetta Cucuzzi, Serpent of Sicily 'Cucuzzi'

Lagenaria siceraria

Family: Cucurbitaceae (koo-ker-bih-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Lagenaria (lag-en-AR-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: siceraria (sy-ker-AR-ee-uh) (Info)
Cultivar: Cucuzzi
Additional cultivar information:(aka Longissima, Giant Italian Squash)
Synonym:Cucurbita lagenaria
Synonym:Cucurbita siceraria
Synonym:Lagenaria leucantha
Synonym:Lagenaria vulgaris



Vines and Climbers

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade


Grown for foliage


Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)


8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)


Not Applicable

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us



Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored


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

Waverly, Alabama

Brandon, Florida

Brooksville, Florida

Crawfordville, Florida

Mchenry, Illinois

Rockford, Illinois

Iola, Kansas

Marrero, Louisiana

Ellicott City, Maryland

Carson City, Nevada

Dayton, Nevada

Mount Laurel, New Jersey

Charlotte, North Carolina

Hulbert, Oklahoma

Conroe, Texas

Seattle, Washington

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Apr 11, 2009, Leehallfae from Seattle, WA wrote:

This one, Climbing Italian Summer Squash, is a must-have-it for those who adore lime green flowers. They can grow to 8 feet and form a lush leafy arbor.

The squash has a delicate taste, mild with a hint of artichoke. Best harvested when the gords are 10 to 12 inches in length.


On Aug 31, 2006, frostweed from Josephine, Arlington, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Lagenaria siceraria is naturalized in Texas and other States.


On Aug 1, 2006, Phytodealer from Brasília,
Brazil wrote:

Lagenaria vulgaris, a creeper, can become a little invasive, but only if you let it out of control. The plant is a relative of the pumpkins and zucchinis, can be eaten cooked.


On Sep 11, 2004, bluespiral from (Zone 7a) wrote:

I agree that this is very easy to grow. My variety is called Cucuzzi caravazi, bought in 2002. It has grown 50' and shows no sign of slowing down. Leaves are 11" wide and 9" long, softly hairy/velvety, heart shaped, and have 5 gentle, pointed lobes. So far, the oldest gourds hang down through a yew hedge and are 5' plus. The youngest, about 12, are dangling from the top of our magnolia where they cannot be reached to eat. These behemoths are the color of luna moth wings - pale, sea green.

The flowers are about 3 1/2" on foot long stalks, white, fragrant, scented like a melon, have 4 creped, fringed petals, bloom at night and are a sight to see floating above the yew hedge at twilight. Well, the whole thing is a sight. Awesome.


On Sep 1, 2004, onalee from Brooksville, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

These are extremely easy to grow, definately a gourd, but an old-time italian favorite for eating. Harvest when young for eating (6" - 8") and cook like summer squash. Excellent sauteed in butter! Larger cucuzzi are not good for eating, but can be dried and crafted like any other gourd and the larger ones are where you harvest seeds. Gourds cross polinate easily, so grow gourds, squash and cucumbers as far apart as possible for seeds that will be true.