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Cucurbita moschata Duchesne

Family Name: Cucurbitaceae
Synonyms: Cucurbita pepo var. moschata
Common Name: Pumpkin, 南瓜

The Pumpkin (Cucurbita moschata) in popular in both Western and Eastern communities. In Asian countries, the leaves and fruit including the seeds are eaten in stews and stir-fries. In America, carving pumpkins into Jack-o’-lanterns during autumn is practised, it is often regarded as a symbol of Halloween. This tradition likely originated from the Irish folktale of “Stingy Jack” and was brought to the shores of the New World through immigrants.

Full Sun: 6-8h Moderate Water Fruit & Vegetable Climber, Vine and Liana Woody Creeper


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names
Species Summary

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Climber, Vine & Liana, Shrub (Creeper)
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic


Native Distribution Tropical Asia, South America, North America
Native Habitat Terrestrial
Local Conservation Status Exotic

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Herbaceous climbing or creeping vine.
Foliage The leaves are egg- to heart-shaped or approximately round with 3-5 egg-shaped or triangular lobes (25-30 cm long, 20-25 cm wide). The leaf stalk is 30 cm long or more.
Stems The stems are hard and 5-angled with grooves and are covered with white hairs. 
Flowers Both female and male flowers are yellow, solitary, and bell- to saucer-shaped with 5 egg-shaped lobes. Compared to female flowers, the male flower is borne on a longer floral stalk (16-18 cm vs. 3-8 cm), the sepals are less leaf-like, and they are about the same size or larger (5-13.5 cm long vs. <7.5 cm long).  
Fruits The fruit is a pepo with a hard and 5-angled, grooved fruit stalk, enlarged where it is attached to the fruit. The fruit is variable in shape size and colour. Each fruit contains large numbers of yellowish-white seeds which are egg-shaped to elliptical with a thickened margin. 
Cultivation It is best grown under full sun, in well-drained and fertile growing medium in neutral to slightly acidic conditions. It does not do well in waterlogged conditions. Seeds may take 5 to 7 days to germinate. The gourds will be ready to harvest 90 to 120 days after sowing seed depending on the varieties. Grow the plant in a sunny location with a support or trellis and install a hammock-like structure to hold the fruit as it develops.
Etymology The genus Cucurbita means gourd in Latin and the specific epithet moschata means musky.
Ethnobotanical Uses Edible Plant Parts (Edible Fruits, Edible Leaves, Edible Flowers, Edible Stems, Edible Seeds)
Food (Fruit & Vegetable : The immature and mature fruit is eaten cooked as a vegetable and used in soups in South-East Asia. It is also used in desserts. The seeds can be cooked and eaten, oil can also be extracted from the seeds. )

Landscaping Features

Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Moist Soils, Well-Drained Soils, Fertile Loamy Soils
Landscape Uses Parks & Gardens, Trellis / Arbour / Pergola
Thematic Landscaping Economic Garden

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Pollination Method(s) Biotic (Fauna) (Insects (Bee))

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water
Propagation Method Seed
Seed or Spore Germination Duration To 7
Seed or Spore Germination Duration Unit Days


Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Velvety / Furry / Tomentose
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage
Foliar Venation Palmate
Foliar Margin Serrate / Toothed, Denticulate
Foliar Apex - Tip Obtuse

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality 1 Unisexual Flowers
Flower & Plant Sexuality 2 Monoecious
Flower Colour(s) Yellow / Golden
Flower Texture(s) Wrinkled
Flower Grouping Solitary
Flower Location Axillary
Flower Symmetry Radial
Individual Flower Shape Campaulate / Bell-shaped, Saucer-shaped

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) - Angiosperms and Gymnosperms Cream / Off-White, Green
Mature Fruit Texture(s) Smooth, [Remarks] (Ribbed)
Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type 1 Fleshy Fruit
Fruit Type 2 Non-Accessory Fruit
Mature Seed Texture(s) Smooth
Seed Quantity Per Fruit Numerous (>20)

Image Repository



Master ID 31803
Species ID 6203
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 20 October 2021.