Has anyone ever planted cucuzza?


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Has anyone ever planted cucuzza?

When I was young all of the old Italians used plant a Sicilian squash call cucuzza, so when I found some seeds I had to give it a try. I planted a few in the back near a trellis, but when they didn’t really do anything I forgot about them. The area where I planted them became abandoned and overgrown. A few weeks ago-late August or early September, I found that they were growing. I pointed them in the direction of my trellis. The trellis is now covered and I’m getting fruit. I remembered these as something that would produce during the summer and I’m surprised that it didn’t take off until so late in the season. I would like to get advice on how to handle them next spring. I’m interested in hearing from anyone who has had experience with cucuzza.

Thank you,
DiMart
 
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I haven't planted one but I would definitely love to do so. From what I've found out cucuzza is vegetable which falls into the category of gourds. It is a slender, long Italian vegetable which is harvested and eaten in the summer season. This Italian native veggie is best suited for Mediterranean climates. The cucuzza squash needs warm soil to begin germination and develop into a fully grown plant. The normal gestation period is usually about 55 days after sowing the seeds of the plant.
 
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I've never even heard of that squash here - I'm curious to know if it perhaps goes by a different name elsewhere in the world.
 
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Cuccuzza is a form of Calabash or Bottle Gourd (Lagenaria siceraria), originally native to tropical Africa but now grown worldwide for food, ornament and other utilities. The fruit might have even floated across the ocean, introducing itself to the Americas and elsewhere. This white-flowered gourd is quite different from the more common yellow-flowered gourds and squashes of the genus Cucurbita, but can also be raised as an annual vegetable crop in temperate climates. The immature fruit is eaten, while the hard outer shell of mature gourds can be fashioned into various utensils.

Pictured below is a different cultivar of Lagenaria siceraria grown to spectacular effect on a pergola at the Missouri Botanical Garden.
F2_gourd.jpg
 
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