View Full Version : What kind of squash or pumpkin?

September 25th, 2006, 07:27 PM
My Mom passed on to me some family pumpkin (or is it a squash) seeds that we really like but have no name for it. She got it from Grandma in southern Missouri and we don't know where she got it.
It is shaped like a medium sized watermelon, with shallow ribs and is pale orange when ripe. The seeds look like pumpkin (or squash) seeds and the plant is very vigorous, often taking over much of the garden. It produces abundant pumpkin which make wonderful pies and punkin butter.
I've heard it called a "cow pumpkin" and seen it for sale a few times along the roadside in past years.
Anyone familiar with this wonderful cucurbit and have a proper name for it?

Helen Wong-Joe
September 25th, 2006, 08:20 PM
drobinson, I would love to trade for few of your "cow pumpkin" seeds. What seeds are you looking for????

September 25th, 2006, 10:04 PM
Sounds like a popular type in S. Missouri?
But here's what I know by the name Cow Pumpkin
Connecticut Field is a Pumpkin variety that was also known as the "Big Tom" Pumpkin and as the Yellow Cow Pumpkin. Beautiful 20 pound pumpkins ideal for carving, pies and canning. A yellow-orange nineteenth century American variety with a soft skin that was favoured by the Shakers. Once used as a fodder pumpkin for livestock. 120 days for maturity.

September 26th, 2006, 11:11 AM
Correct if I am wrong (seriously...please), but it has been my understanding that Connecticut Field Pumpkins are an even earlier variety, perhaps Native in origin and were commonly used by those colonists that early on settled into New England (and perhaps later on by Shakers too, but this is past my area/era of interest).

September 26th, 2006, 12:38 PM

It is my understanding that "pumpkins" are actually squash. I guess that what "makes a pumpkin a pumpkin" would be its SHAPE. Am I correct?

September 26th, 2006, 04:15 PM
Hey Guys;Cow Pumpkin-Cucurbita Moschata
Conneticut Field-C.Pepo,pre-1700 North American Origin
Pumpkin is an american mispronunciation of the French-Pompian.

September 28th, 2006, 04:26 PM
I really appreciate everyone's response to my inquiry. But, all the Connecticut field pumpkins that I have seen show them as shaped like a Jack-O-lantern. All the catalog and internet pics I have seen on the Connecticut variety show them as round, not elongated. Since the one I have is shaped like an elongated watermelon, and never globular, it's something else. It will seldom get more than 25 pounds in wt. As an aside, Thomas Jefferson raised the Connecticut field variety at Monticello, as I understand it. They were sometimes used as feed for the cows. Hence, "cow pumpkin."
So, it looks like more than one variety of pumpkin will work as cow fodder.

Could it be that my variety is really more squash than pumpkin (I realize they both are kissin' cousins)???

Unfortunately, I did not get my pumpkins planted until late this year and they may not make seed. All the seed I have left are from last year.

September 28th, 2006, 04:35 PM
I have always distinguished pumpkins from squash by their unmistakeable "pumpkiny" smell and flavor. Don't know if it's right, but it makes sense to me... Cushaws, for example, don't look anything like a field pumpkin, with crooked necks and bulbous blossom ends, but crack one open and you'll know it's a pumpkin...

September 28th, 2006, 10:08 PM
DR, I'm wondering if maybe it's what used to be called a Cheese Pumpkin?? Distinctive ribbing and buff orange in colour??
I'm just guessing here of course, but I'd really like to help you determine what your Grandma's heirloom is or at least was derived from??

And I hope that even though you were late in planting this year, that you managed to keep some seed in reserve for planting next year ??

September 28th, 2006, 11:55 PM
Hey Guys;Its called a Cow Pumpkin and it is of the Species Moschata.And for the record the seeds from last year are fine.-

September 30th, 2006, 03:08 PM
Again, thanks everyone for your help in trying to identifying a common name for my "mystery" pumpkin/squash. By the way, I did give some seed to Jere Gettle a couple of years ago. Don't know what he did with them. Nothing like it showed up on his catalog of seeds.
For now, I'll just call it "Grandma's Cow Pumpkin."

I don't know if pictures are allowed on this site, but I would be glad to post one if I knew how. I do have a computer and scanner.

September 30th, 2006, 06:22 PM
we love pics please post if you can

October 19th, 2006, 11:22 AM
I am looking to acquire some "cow pumpkin" seeds. I will trade for a terrific "pumpkin butter" recipe. When you are finished with the process, all you need to add is your eggs and cream for the pie. You can freeze or can the Pumpkin Butter. The "cow pumpkins" my dad used to plant in the corn fields (before they routinely sprayed chemicals) were tannish orange, with almost a whittish cast to the color. Anyone interested in trading?????

October 19th, 2006, 11:39 AM
Hi chaeffner, I was wondering when you would start posting. Welcome to the forum!

Sorry, I don't have any of the seeds you are looking for...

October 24th, 2006, 09:47 AM
I may have a lead on the elusive "cow Pumpkin". In these parts of Missouri, midwest, I have found they are called "Buckskin". They are tannish, not jackOlantern shape. I picked some up at a stand, and they look closer to anything I have come across so far. Some other varieties in the same category I have seen are "Chelsey", Dickinson and Kentucky Field.