The Pumpkin Patch

A pumpkin, in English-language vernacular, is a cultivated winter squash in the genus Cucurbita. The term is most commonly applied to round, orange-colored squash varieties, though it does not possess a scientific definition and may be used in reference to many different squashes of varied appearance.The use of the word "pumpkin" is thought to have originated in New England in North America, derived from a word for melon, or a native word for round. The term is sometimes used interchangeably with "squash" or "winter squash", and is commonly used for some cultivars of Cucurbita argyrosperma, Cucurbita ficifolia, Cucurbita maxima, Cucurbita moschata, and Cucurbita pepo.C. pepo pumpkins are among the oldest known domesticated plants, with evidence of their cultivation dating to between 7000 BCE and 5500 BCE. Wild species of Cucurbita and the earliest domesticated species are native to North America (parts of present-day northeastern Mexico and the southern United States), but cultivars are now grown globally for culinary, decorative, and other culturally-specific purposes.The pumpkin's thick shell contains edible seeds and pulp. Pumpkin pie is a traditional part of Thanksgiving meals in Canada and the United States and pumpkins are frequently used as autumnal seasonal decorations and carved as jack-o'-lanterns for decoration around Halloween. Commercially canned pumpkin purée and pie fillings are usually made of different pumpkin varieties from those intended for decorative use.