Pumpkins are members of theCucurbita" family of plants. This family also includes squash, gourds, cucumbers, and melons. Photo: http://www.kidsweb.at/kuerbis/pumpkin5.htm http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pumpkin
Pumpkins are usually yellow-orange to orange in color, and sometimes white. Pumpkins are Fruits! They have hard shells. A central cavity within the fruit holds the seeds and coarse, stringy pulp. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pumpkin
Pumpkins are usually shaped like a flattened globe, or can be oblong or pear shaped. The skin or shell is somewhat smooth and sometimes has vertical lines down the side of the fruit. http://www.hort.purdue.edu/ext/senior/vegetabl/pumpkin1.htm Pumpkin fruits can vary greatly in size from less than five pounds to more than one hundred pounds!!
Six of the seven continents can grow pumpkins! They even grow in the state of Alaska! (On which continent is Alaska?) Antarctica is the only continent that they won't grow in. http://www.pumpkin-patch.com/facts.html
The name pumpkin originated from the Greek word for "large melon" which is "pepon." "Pepon" was changed by the French into "pompon." http://www.urbanext.uiuc.edu/pumpkins/history.html The English changed "pompon" to "Pumpion." American colonists changed "pumpion" into "pumpkin."
Pumpkins grow from seeds. The seeds are usually planted in the spring after danger of frost has passed – late April or May. Chronology of the Life Cycle of A Giant Atlantic Pumpkin http://www.pumpkinnook.com/howto/cycle.htm
The pumpkin plant is a vine. It has large, dark green leaves, orange trumpet-shaped flowers, and prickly hairs on the stems and leaves. Like cucumbers, corn, and muskmelons, the pumpkin has separate male and female flowers on the same plant. http://www.hort.purdue.edu/ext/senior/vegetabl/pumpkin1.htm
Pumpkin plants have large, dark green, lobed leaves. http://www.hort.purdue.edu/ext/senior/vegetabl/pumpkin1.htm
This is a male pumpkin flower. They are 4 to 5 inches in diameter. The vine has separate male and female flowers. The fruit is beginning to form at the base of this female flower. http://www.hort.purdue.edu/ext/senior/vegetabl/pumpkin1.htm Pumpkin flowers are yellow and they are edible!
Pumpkins are harvested in the fall! It usually takes 90 to 120 days for a seed to grow into a ripened pumpkin. Photo: http://www.kidsweb.at/kuerbis/pumpkin3.htm Chronology of the Life Cycle of A Pumpkin http://www.pumpkinnook.com/howto/cycle.htm
Sugar Pie Tahitian Pink BananaTurk's Turban LuminaCinderellaQueensland Blue http://www.ebfarm.com/farmstand/farmstand_pumpkin-id.html There are lots of varieties of pumpkins! http://www.pumpkin-patch.com/varieties.html
http://www.pumpkinnook.com/giants/record.htm The largest pumpkin ever grown is 1,502 pounds. It was grown by Ron Wallace of Greene, Rhode Island. It was weighed in on October 7, 2006 at the Rhode Island Weigh-off. http://www.backyardgardener.com/pumkin.html The Atlantic Giant is the largest variety of pumpkin!
http://www.urbanext.uiuc.edu/pumpkins/nutrition.html Pumpkin Nutrition Facts (1 cup cooked, boiled, drained, without salt) Calories 49 Protein 2 grams Carbohydrate 12 grams Dietary Fiber 3 grams Calcium 37 mg Iron 1.4 mg Magnesium 22 mg Potassium 564 mg Zinc 1 mg Selenium.50 mg Vitamin C 12 mg Niacin 1 mg Folate 21 mcg Vitamin A 2650 IU Vitamin E 3 mg Pumpkins are 90 % water!
In colonial times, Native Americans roasted long strips of pumpkin in an open fire. Native Americans flattened strips of pumpkins, dried them and made mats. Native Americans called pumpkins "isqoutm squash. Native Americans used pumpkin seeds for food and medicine. http://www.urbanext.uiuc.edu/pumpkins/facts.html
In early colonial times, pumpkins were used as an ingredient for the crust of pies, not the filling! Colonists sliced off pumpkin tips; removed seeds and filled the insides with milk, spices and honey. This was baked in hot ashes and is the origin of pumpkin pie. Pumpkins were often used to feed animals, too. http://www.urbanext.uiuc.edu/pumpkins/facts.html http://www.kidsweb.at/kuerbis/pumpkin6.htm
http://www.naturalsciences.org/funstuff/notebook/plants/pumpkin.html Carving out faces in big pumpkins to make jack-o'-lanterns is now an American tradition, but the jack-o'-lantern didn't originate here. Halloween began in Ireland where the first jack-o'-lanterns were made of potatoes, rutabagas, turnips, or beets. According to an old Irish legend, a man called Stingy Jack had been mean and conniving while he lived, and after his death was forced to walk the Earth carrying a turnip lantern with a burning coal inside. He became known as "Jack of the Lantern" or "Jack-o'-lantern." The Irish put jack-o'-lanterns in windows or by doors on Halloween night to scare him and other evil spirits away. It wasn't until Irish immigrants came to America that pumpkins were used. So the next time you put a jack-o'-lantern in your window, stop and think about mean ol' Jack.
http://www.urbanext.uiuc.edu/pumpkins/facts.html Anatomy of a Pumpkin http://www.pumpkinnook.com/facts/anatomy.htm Photo: http://www.kidsweb.at/kuerbis/pumpkin1.htm Pumpkin seeds can be roasted as a snack. Pumpkins are used to make soups, pies and breads. The largest pumpkin pie ever made was over five feet in diameter and weighed over 350 pounds. It used 80 pounds of cooked pumpkin, 36 pounds of sugar, 12 dozen eggs and took six hours to bake. Pumpkins were once recommended for removing freckles and curing snake bites. Pumpkin Classroom Activities http://www.umkc.edu/imc/pumpkin.htm http://www.umkc.edu/imc/pumpkin.htm