Summer squash are squashes that are harvested when immature, while the rind is still tender and edible. Nearly all summer squashes are varieties of Cucurbita pepo, though not all Cucurbita pepo are considered summer squashes. Most summer squash have a bushy growth habit, unlike the rambling vines of many winter squashes. The name "summer squash" refers to the short storage life of these squashes, unlike that of winter squashes.
Summer squashes include:
- Cousa squash, pale-colored zucchini varieties purportedly of Middle Eastern or West Asian descent. Not to be confused with cushaw, a type of winter squash.
- Pattypan squash (scallop squash)
- Tromboncino or zucchetta, unusual among summer squash as being a vining plant and a Cucurbita moschata variety.
- Crookneck squash
- Straightneck squash
- Zucchini (courgette)
- Immature ridge gourd luffa is used as a summer squash in India, where it is known as turai or dodka.
In the journals of Lewis and Clark, on October 12, 1804, Clark recorded that the Arikara tribe raised "great quantities of Corn Beens Simmins, &c." Clark also used the spelling simlin in his journal entries. Simlin, variously spelled simblin, symnel, cymling, cimnel (Thomas Jefferson's spelling) and simnel were words for summer squash, particularly Cucurbita pepo ssp. pepo, common name pattypan squash. The word simnel was used because of the visual similarity between the squash and the simnel cake.
- "Zucchetta". Mount Vernon Northwestern Washington Research and Extension Center: Vegetable Research and Extension. Washington State University. Retrieved 10 May 2013.
- "Summer Squash". University of Illinois Extension. Retrieved September 15, 2013.
- "Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition Online October 12, 1804". Lewisandclarkjournals.unl.edu. Retrieved 2012-09-10.
- "Whitney, William Dwight. 1889. The Century dictionary. New York: The Century co., simnel, 2". Retrieved 4 September 2013.
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