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CUCURBITA argyrosperma 'Campeche'
Campeche Squash, Squash
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Beautiful fruits that mimic the look of small watermelons, the Campeche squash isn't consumed in like manner, if at all. This sprawling, warm-season annual vine originates from Mesoamerica - from Mexico to Costa Rica. Botanists believe Cucurbita argyrosperma was first cultivated about 7,000 years ago in southern Mexico. Know more commonly as a winter squash, 'Campeche' abundantly produces rounded to slightly teardrop-shaped fruits. The skin is ivory-white, with dark green streaks and netting in an attractive pattern. Underripe fruits have pale green skin before becoming white with the dark green stripes. Fruits are about cantaloupe-size and weigh 4 to 8 pounds (2 to 3.5 kg). Once seeds are sown, it takes 100 to 120 days before fruits are ready for harvest.
These creeping or climbing plants can grow quickly to a very large size, and are covered with broadly oval to heart-shaped green leaves. Each leaf is coarse, hairy and can irritate the skin. Like most cucurbits, separate male and female flowers appear on the same plant. These blossoms are large, golden yellow to orange, trumpet-shaped and pollinated by bees. The male flowers open first on the vine, followed by the female flowers, distinguished by bulbous ovaries at their bases which develop into mature fruits following pollination.
Directly sow 'Campeche' seeds into small mounds of rich, porous soil when the danger of frost has passed. A warm, moist soil is needed, and a long growing season for good growth and complete fruit development and maturation on the vine. Full sun is required. To reduce the risk of fungal problems, avoid unnecessary wetting of vine stems and leaves. Monitor closely for stem borers (although this squash species seems to be naturally resistant to damage), leaf bugs and beetles. As fruits mature in autumn, deer, birds and rodents may browse them, so protect as needed. Mature winter squashes should be harvested before heavy frosts when their color is solid, the rinds firm, and the vines begin to brown and die back. Cut carefully from the vine, leaving a short stem for easy handling and to discourage fruit rot. Take care not to cut or bruise the skin, and store the fruit in a cool, dry, frost-free location.
12 - 1
A1, A2, A3, H1, H2, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
1'-2' / 0.3m - 0.6m
10'-16' / 3.0m - 4.9m
Mexico, Central America
White, Dark Green
Green, Dark Green
Herb / Vegetable, Tropical, Vine
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