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A beautiful girl with a black spider costume seated in front of many pumpkins
cucurbita pepo
Cucurbita pepo (Pumpkin)

Originating from the Americas, this plant species has been domesticated for thousands of years, with its earliest known cultivation in southern Mexico around 8,000 to 10,000 years ago. The species is known for its vast morphological diversity, which has led to a complex taxonomy with various subspecies and cultivars often misidentified as separate species. This diversity is rooted in its widespread geographic distribution, with the plant being adapted to grow in both arid and moist regions. This adaptability and variation have made it an economically important species, utilized for its fruits, flowers, and young leaves as vegetables. Cultivars like the 'Connecticut Field' are grown commercially in large quantities for purposes such as Halloween lanterns and pumpkin pies, particularly for the North American celebration of Thanksgiving​​​​. The classification of this species reflects its diversity and includes several subspecies and cultivars, with Cucurbita pepo subsp. pepo and Cucurbita pepo subsp. ovifera being the most economically significant. These subspecies are distinguished by their fruit consumption stages; summer squash is consumed at an immature stage, while winter squash is consumed when mature.

A beautiful girl with a black spider costume seated in front of pumpkins

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