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CUCURBITA pepo 'Baby Bear'

Image of Cucurbita pepo 'Baby Bear'

All-America Selections

Family

Cucurbitaceae

Botanical Name

CUCURBITA pepo 'Baby Bear'

Plant Common Name

Miniature Pumpkin

General Description

Delightful for adults and small children alike, ‘Baby Bear’ produces a generous crop of miniature, perfectly proportioned pumpkins with long, twisting stems and bright orange skin. Borne on full-sized vines, the long-keeping fruits have sweet, delicious flesh and semi-hulless seeds which are perfect for roasting. This cultivar won the prestigious All-America Selections award in 1993. It is ready for harvest approximately 105 days from sowing.

Like other true pumpkins, ‘Baby Bear’ is a member of the New World species Cucurbita pepo. These warm season, annual vines are monoecious, meaning single plants bear separate male and female flowers. The large, yellow, funnel shaped male blossoms are generally produced first, followed by the fruit-producing female flowers, which are distinguished by bulbous ovaries at the bases. Following pollination by bees, these develop into fruits, which are often obscured by the plant’s large, coarse, heart-shaped or deeply lobed foliage.

Plant pumpkin seeds in full sun and deep, rich, well-drained loam when the soil has warmed and all danger of frost has passed. Regular water is essential, but the plants will not tolerate soggy conditions or wet feet. Where drainage is not optimal, it is advisable to plant them in raised mounds of fertile, porous soil. Vining types such as ‘Baby Bear’ can be trellised if space is limited. Watch closely for squash bugs, cucumber beetles and vine borers at the base of the stems. Yearly crop rotation and removal of dead plant debris at the end of the growing season can help to minimize insect and disease problems. Harvest fruit before frost when the rinds are hard and fully colored, and the vines have begun to turn brown.

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

    2'-3' / 0.6m - 0.9m (2)

  • Width

    3'-30' / 0.9m - 9.1m (20)

  • Bloom Time

    Indeterminate

  • Native To

    Hybrid Origin, North America, Mexico, Central America

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Very Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Vining/Climbing

  • Seasonal Interest

    Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Yellow, Orange, Dark Green

  • Fruit Color

    Orange, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • 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, Herb / Vegetable, Vine

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes