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CUCURBITA maxima 'Marina Di Chioggia'

Image of Cucurbita maxima 'Marina Di Chioggia'

Jessie Keith

Family

Cucurbitaceae

Botanical Name

CUCURBITA maxima 'Marina Di Chioggia'

Plant Common Name

Winter Squash

General Description

Originating in the Adriatic coastal town of Chioggia, this Italian heirloom squash is distinguished by its warty blue-green rind and its delicious golden-orange flesh. The highly decorative, 10-inch-wide (25 cm), "turban-shaped" fruits weigh up to 10 pounds (4 kg) each. In its native region its richly flavored flesh is used in gnocchi, pasta, and risotto. This variety grows from seed to harvest in about 105 days. The fruits store well, deepening in flavor after harvest.

Originating from tropical South America, winter squash have been cultivated since ancient times by Native Americans. These warm season, annual vines produce separate male and female flowers on the same plant. The male flowers appear first, followed by the female flowers, which have distinctive bulbous ovaries at their bases. The blossoms are large, golden yellow and pollinated by bees. Huge, bristly, lobed leaves often mask the developing fruits.

Sow the seeds of 'Marina di Chioggia' directly into mounds of rich, light, well-drained soil after all danger of frost has passed. Full sun is required for successful flowering and fruiting. To reduce the risk of fungal problems, avoid unnecessary wetting of vine stems and leaves. Also monitor for stem borers, leaf bugs and beetles. As fruits mature in autumn, deer, larger birds and rodents may browse them, so protect as needed. Harvest before heavy frosts when fruit color is solid. Cut from the stem, leaving a short “handle”, and take care not to cut or bruise the fruits. Store in a cool, dry location, leaving space for air circulation to discourage the spread of mold.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 1

  • Sunset Zone

    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

  • Plant Type

    Vegetable

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun

  • Height

    18"-24" / 45.7cm - 61.0cm

  • Width

    10'-15' / 3.0m - 4.6m

  • Bloom Time

    Early Summer, Summer, Indeterminate

  • Native To

    South America

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam

  • Growth Rate

    Very Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Prostrate/Trailing

  • Seasonal Interest

    Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Yellow, Gold

  • Fruit Color

    Gray Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    Yes

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Coarse

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Edible, Groundcover, Herb / Vegetable, Vine

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Birds

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes