Seminole Pumpkin (Cucurbita moshata) is called the wild squash of the Everglades. This is a native Florida pumpkin which the Seminole and Miccosukee tribes cultivated before the Spaniards arrived in the 1500’s. They would plant the seeds at the base of dead trees and allow the vine to grow upward with the fruit hanging down from the dead branches. The Native Americans called it ‘Chasse howitska’, meaning Hanging Pumpkin.
This pumpkin is small in size, but was highly prized for making ‘pumpkin bread’ among the Seminole and Miccosukee people. These bread recipes can be obtained online, although they are more like a fritter than bread.
Most of our vegetables are grown in the winter when the humidity/rainfall is much lower thus limiting the chances of powdery mildew and insect problems. However, this pumpkin is heat tolerant as well as resistant to powdery mildew, and its hard outer skin makes it difficult for insects to penetrate, thus allowing it to grow throughout the summer months.
For whatever reason, most people lost interest in growing this native pumpkin over the years. Richard Lyons’ Nursery has planted several seeds in an attempt to make this pumpkin popular again.
Stay tuned for growth updates throughout the summer, and photo documentation.