Autumn Harvest At Gardens By The Bay (Part 2)

Autumn Harvest At Gardens By The Bay (Part 2).

Cucurbita (Latin for gourd) is a genus of herbaceous vines in the gourd family, Cucurbitaceae, native to the Andes and Mesoamerica. Five species are grown worldwide for their edible fruit, variously known as squash, pumpkin, or gourd depending on species and variety, and for their seeds. First cultivated in the Americas before being brought to Europe by returning explorers after their discovery of the New World, the plants are important sources of human food and oil. Other kinds of gourd, also called bottle-gourds, are native to Africa and belong to the genus Lagenaria, which is in the same family and subfamily as  Cucurbita but in a different tribe. These other gourds are used as utensils or vessels, and their young fruits are eaten much like those of Cucurbita species. Most Cucurbita species are herbaceous vines that grow several meters in length and have tendrils, but non-vining “bush” cultivars of C. pepo and C. maxima have also been developed. The yellow or orange flowers are of two types. The female flowers produce the fruit and the male flowers produce pollen. The fruits are good sources of nutrients, such as vitamin A and vitamin C, among other nutrients according to species. The plants also contain other phytochemicals, such as cucurbitin, cucurmosin, and cucurbitacin. The full-grown winter squash can be stored for months. The Autumn Harvest exhibits at the Flower Dome will run till 29 October 2017. Credit: Gardens By the Bay & Wikipedia.

Photo Credit: Zheluo Cai