Pumpkin Gender

Dear Liza,

I learned something at the garden yesterday!

I was bemoaning the fact that so many of my beautiful pumpkin blossoms weren’t turning into pumpkins, and my garden-mates Morgan and Abby set me straight. It turns out, every squash plant (pumpkins, zucchinis, acorn squash, and such) will produce BOTH male and female flowers.

The male flowers will never mature into squash. Their only job is to pollinize, that is, fertilize, the female flowers. Once the bees are done with them, they just shrivel up. They are useful, however, for fancy ‘stuffed squash blossom’ dishes, where you put rice and meat into the flower and then tie it up and bake it. Yum!

These are spent male flowers

The female flowers, once their blossoms are pollinated, will fatten up and become a squash. Ain’t life interesting?

Yellow male flower on the bottom, green female blossom-turned-pumpkin above….

I didn’t know any of this! I love that I am still learning things about gardening.


Grandma Judy

Author: Judy

I am a new transplant to Portland from Salinas, a small city in Central California. This is a blog about my new city.

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