Seven Uncommon Squashes Identified

Squash, a vegetable of the Cucurbita genus, contains more varieties than most other vegetables. Common and not so common seed varieties fill the seed racks of garden centers and online seed catalog lists. With such a vast selection, identification of specific varieties can be difficult. Choose from these unique squashes and let the growing adventure begin.


Calabaza Squash

Calabaza squash, also called West Indian pumpkin, is a pumpkin-like squash that can grow as large as a watermelon. The squash’s hard outer rind can be green, pale tan, or light red-orange. The inner bright orange flesh has a sweet flavor similar to butternut squash. Due to its large size, Latin markets usually sell calabaza squash in cut up pieces.

Carnival Squash

The carnival squash, a hybrid of sweet dumpling and acorn squashes, is a small pumpkin shaped winter squash. The outer rind has variegated pattern colors of green, orange, white, and yellow. An aged carnival squash will only be orange and cream colored on the outside. The inner flesh tastes much like a butternut and is light orange in color.

Cuarzo Squash

Cuarzo squash, also known as Mexican squash, is a prolific variety that resists diseases. This greyish-green colored summer zucchini squash produces for a long period of time due to its disease resistance.

Banana Squash

The banana squash, also known as Mexican Banana and Plymouth Rock, is an elongated squash that was first introduced about 1893. One variety can reach a weight of 75 pounds. The average fruit is 10-12 pounds, 18-20 inches long, and 5-6 inches in diameter. Banana squash can have outer rind colors of bluish-gray, yellow, or orange-pink. Here are some varieties to grow:

  • Jumbo Pink Banana Squash
  • Guatemalan Blue Banana Squash
  • Pink Mammoth Jumbo Banana Squash
  • Orange Banana Squash

Gete Okosomin Squash

The Gete Okosomin squash is an ancient Native American squash with an interesting history. This so-called “800-year-old squash” is 2-3 feet long and weighs up to 8 pounds. The fruit is banana-shaped and has bright orange with lighter orange lengthwise stripes. The sweet inner flesh has a melon-like taste.

Boston Marrow Squash

For 150 years, the Boston marrow squash was the standard of early squashes. This winter squash, also known as autumnal marrow squash, has a relatively short maturing date of 90-110 days. Boston marrow squash is a Hubbard-shaped fruit averaging 10-20 pounds. The outer rind is bright red-orange in color: the inner flesh is orange and tastes sweet.

Canada Crookneck Squash

The Canada crookneck squash is a bottle-shaped light orange winter squash. The fruit weighs 2-4 pounds each and has a curved neck (some are straight). The reddish-orange flesh makes a delicious soup. This squash variety is resistant to pests and disease that can plague squash plants.