Characteristics of Pumpkin and Pumpkin Seeds.
- Basic Botanical Information of Pumpkin.
- Characteristics,Botanical Description of Pumpkin and Pumpkin Seeds.
- Pumpkin Seed Origins and History.
- Constituents,Phytochemical and Nutrients of Pumpkin Pulp,Pumpkin seeds.
- Pharmacology and Health benefits of Pumpkin Seeds.
- Pharmacology and Application of Pumpkin Pulp.
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- Research Update:Pumpkin and Pumpkin Seed.
Characteristics of Pumpkin and Pumpkin Seeds.
Perennial creeping herb of the Gourd family - Cucurbitaceae- till 10 m. long. Hirsute stems, grooved. Cordate leaves, lobed . Unisexual till 10 cm. wide, with the calyx joined to the corolla; the male ones having the stamens connected into a column. Very variable fruit ( pumpkin or courgette)
Pumpkin seeds, also known as pepitas, are flat, dark green seeds. Some are encased in a yellow-white husk, although some varieties of pumpkins produce seeds without shells. Pumpkin seeds have a malleable, chewy texture and a subtly sweet, nutty flavor. While roasted pumpkins seeds are probably best known for their role as a perennial Halloween treat, these seeds are so delicious, and nutritious, that they can be enjoyed throughout the whole year.
Like cantaloupe, cucumber, and squash, pumpkins and pumpkin seeds belong to the gourd or Cucurbitaceae family. The most common genus and species name for pumpkin is Cucurbita maxima.
Botanical Description:Pumpkin and Pumpkin Seed:
pumpkin, common name for the genus Cucurbita of the family Cucurbitaceae (gourd family), a group that includes the pumpkins and squashes,the names may be used interchangeably and without botanical distinction. C. pepo, a species that includes varieties of pumpkin, vegetable marrow (a common European vegetable), and summer squash, has been cultivated so long that its wild form no longer exists and its place of origin is uncertain. If it is native to Asia it was introduced to America in prehistoric times; squashes, corn, and lima beans were the chief crops cultivated by pre-Columbian Native Americans. The pumpkin was among the fruits of the first Thanksgiving celebration of the Pilgrims; it has been a favorite pie filling for autumn festivities ever since, and its shell is carved into the Halloween jack-o'-lantern. The summer squashes include the pattypan, acorn, scallop, and summer crookneck squashes. Other squashes are varieties of C. moschata, including the crookneck squashes and the cheese pumpkin, and C. maxima, the winter squashes (e.g., the Hubbard and turban squashes), called pumpkins in Europe. Pumpkins are classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Violales, family Cucurbitaceae.
The term "pumpkin" refers to certain varieties of C. pepo L., C. moschata Duch. ex Poir., C. mixta Pang., and C. maxima Duch. The varieties called pumpkins differ from those varieties called squashes by having coarser, more strongly flavored flesh, and rinds that are softer at maturity than the winter squashes but harder than the summer squashes. Local tradition and common usage may dictate that a particular variety is called a squash in one area of the country and a pumpkin in another.
Pumpkins belong to the Cucurbitaceae family, which includes cucumbers, melons, squash, and gourds. Within this family is the genus Cucurbita which includes all varieties of pumpkin.
Pumpkins are available in all shapes, colours and sizes, but one of the best known is the Jack 'o Lantern pumpkin C.Pepo, which can weigh as much as 100 pounds and is popular for carving at Halloween.A pumpkin is an orange gourd (Cucurbitaceae) growing from a trailing vine, commonly used in pies or in carving Jack o'lanterns for use as part of Halloween celebrations. A pumpkin is the fruit of the gourd Cucurbita Pepo, well-known in English cottage gardens, and largely cultivated in continental Europe and North America.
The pumpkin varies much in form, being sometimes nearly globular, but more generally oblong or ovoid in shape; the rind is smooth and very variable in colour.
It is a useful plant to the American backwoods farmer, yielding, both in the ripe and unripe condition, a valuable fodder for his cattle and pigs, being frequently planted at intervals among the maize that constitutes his chief crop. The larger kinds acquire a weight of 40 to 80 lb (18 to 36 kg) but smaller varieties are in more esteem for garden culture. When ripe, the pumpkin is boiled or baked, or made into various kinds of pie, alone or mixed with other fruit; while small and green it may be eaten like the vegetable marrow. The name squash is applied in America to this and other species of the genus Cucurbita. The name is adapted from an American Indian word (see L. H. Bailey, Cyclopaedia of American Horticulture, where is a fuller account of the squashes).
Summer squashes are mostly varieties of Cucurbita pepo; winter squashes are either C. maxima or C. moschata. The varieties of pumpkins and squashes are numerous and great variety in size and shape; it is difficult to keep them pure if various kinds are grown together, but the true squashe (C. maxima) do not hybridize with the true pumpkin species If carefully handled to avoid cracking of the skin, and kept dry and fairly warm, winter squashes may be kept for months.
The seed is cooling and of the nature of the Melon. An annual creeper with stems up to 30 feet (9 m) long, furnished with large claspers. The leaves are large and rough like Melons. The flowers are large like yellow Lilies in colour. The fruit is very large and contains white, flattish seeds.
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