Gem squash

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South African Gem Squash.JPG

Gem squash (Cucurbita pepo var. pepo)[1] is a variety of summer squash that was domesticated from two wild varieties; Cucurbita texana found in the southern and central United States and Cucurbita fraterna found in Mexico.[2] The dark green spherical fruit, when fully ripe, is about the size of a softball. The young fruit is often harvested before it is ripe (about golf ball size or tennis ball size) due to its having a more delicate flavor and texture.[3]

The fruit needs to be fully cooked to render it palatable. It is commonly served as a vegetable in South Africa, often boiled or baked.


  1. ^ Paris, H. S. "Characterization of the Cucurbita pepo collection at the Newe Ya'ar Research Center, Israel". Plant Genetics Resources Newsletter. Retrieved January 31, 2015.
  2. ^ Sauer, Jonathan D. (1993). Historical geography of crop plants - a select roster. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press. ISBN 0849389011.
  3. ^ "Table 7-126". Biodiversity International. Retrieved January 31, 2015.