Plant Name: Curcubitaceae Plant Family: Curcubitaceae Scientific Name: Curcubita Maxima
A native North American vegetable, pumpkins are a form of winter squash, but are typically considered less edible because of their stringy textrue. Squash is one of the first crops raised in th the prehistoric New World. Earliest remains date back to 7000 to 5000 B.C. in the Ocamp caves in Tamaulipas, Mexico.
Earliest remains of domesticated squash, cultivated by the Cochise peoples in New Mexico, were found in Bat Cave, New Mexico along with the remains of pod corn.
Drought conditions beginning in 1276 caused mass migration of southwestern tribes who took their farming techniques with them. By 1492, Native American tribes everywhere planted beans, squash and corn together. The corn provided a pole for beans and squash provided a ground cover.
Early European settlers to the Americas survived by adopting the crops.
The first formal written records in Europe appeared in 1633 written by Thomas Hariot, a mathematician who went to the new world with an expedition financed by Sir Walter Raleigh in 1588. He carried seeds and plant knowledge home with him.
Insects, particularly honeybees, pollinate these plants. If they are not available the plants may not set fruit due to lack of pollination. Insufficient pollination sometimes results in deformed fruits.