Difference Between Squash and Pumpkin

Squash vs Pumpkin

Family cucurbitaceae is composed with several species including gourds, melons and squashes. Pumpkin, luffa, cucumber and bitter gourds are some of the well-known crops in this family. In this family: cucurbitaceae, most of the plants are annual vines whereas some shrubs, trees and lianas are also present. Colors of flowers in most cucurbit plants are yellow or white. They are unisexual flowers, also they have hairy stem with spiral structures called tendrils. Pumpkins and squashes belong to the family cucurbitaceae and genus cucurbita. This article reviews basic characteristics of pumpkins and squashes, similarities and differences between them.


Squash is not referred to an individual plant but a complex of plants with similar characteristics. All the species belong to squashes come under genus cucurbita. Those squashes altogether have four species namely C.maxima, C.mixta, C.moschata, and C.pepo. Whilst C.maxima includes buttercup squash and some prize pumpkins C.pepo includes most of the pumpkins and zucchini. Classification of squashes can be done in several ways. One of the most famous ways of classifying squashes can be explained based on the weather. They are classified as summer and winter squashes. Summer squashes are harvested at immature state, whereas winter squashes are harvested after maturity. Squashes are used as vegetables or fruits. Squash is one of the main three crop plantations in America where the other two are maize and beans. This crop is mainly cultivated for agricultural purposes. Therefore, squash is used as human food, animal feed, dietary supplement, ornamental use and some other commercial purposes.


Pumpkin also belongs to the genus cucurbita, coming under family: cucurbitaceae. It may be a cultivar of several species namely Cucurbita pepo, Cucurbita mixta, Cucurbita maxima, and Cucurbita moschata. However, it can be generally described as a fruit of C.pepo or C.mixta species. In North America, pumpkin is referred as winter squash. There is a huge varietal difference within the same species due to the high amount of production. Pumpkins can be cultivated in all areas except Antarctic continent. Normally pumpkins are orange colored oblong shaped fruits. However, the color and shape can vary depending on the variety. Color of the fruit may vary as yellow, pale green, dark green, white and red. Pumpkins provide several nutrients to the body such as lutein, carotene and vitamins (A). Uses gained from pumpkins are diversified in to different areas. They are used as human or animal feed and for some commercial or ornamental uses.


What is the difference between Squash and Pumpkin?

• Squash and pumpkins are not altogether different cops. Both are coming under genus cucurbita, family cucurbitaceae.

• However, squash refers to four species of genus cucurbita including the species to which pumpkin belongs. C.pepo and C.mixta are the two common species for both types.

• Pumpkins can grow in many area of the world while some of the squashes are restricted to specific weather conditions.