The pumpkin (Cucurbita) originally comes from America, but has long since become a symbol of autumn in Europe. Whether on the plate or as a decoration, the pumpkin is indispensable. From a botanical point of view, there are around 15 types of pumpkin, on which numerous cultivars are now based. Not every pumpkin is edible, and bitter varieties can be used for decoration.

Overview: Musk Squash (Cucurbita moschata)

The so-called musk pumpkin has a wide variety of pumpkin varieties, which are characterized above all by their variety of colors, but their size is also considerable in some cases. They can weigh several kilos if they find suitable conditions. Among the musk pumpkins there are numerous very popular edible pumpkins, which have become an integral part of our plates.


  • big fruits
  • bell shaped
  • light orange shell
  • slightly sweet aromatic taste

The butternut squash is a popular squash because it has a lot of pulp and few seeds. This also makes it easy to process.

Long of Naples:

  • Italian variety
  • green shell
  • orange pulp
  • elongated variety up to 100 cm

The long one from Nepal is one of the rising stars among the musk gourds. Although it has a long vegetation and ripening period, it is characterized by a high proportion of pulp. It has few or no seeds, which means that almost the whole pumpkin can be processed.

Nice Long:

  • club-shaped fruits
  • beige shell
  • tasty pulp

Longue de Nice is one of the types of pumpkin that is not yet widespread, but is experiencing a significant upswing. The reason for this is that the pumpkins are not only edible when fully ripe, but can also be eaten raw when they are green. This makes them very versatile.

Muscat of Provence:

  • light orange to brown skin
  • deep ribs
  • firm pulp
  • Flesh very aromatic
Tip: The Muscat de Provence is the most important representative among the musk pumpkins. It is not only very popular because of its aromatic taste, but also because it can be stored very well.


  • very large
  • rounded shape with slight ribs
  • orange shell
  • only pulp edible

Rugosa Friulana:

  • early ripe
  • Italian variety
  • yellow shell
  • surface uneven
  • slightly sweet aromatic taste

Trumpet of Albenga:

  • intricate long shape
  • light green color
  • yellow to brownish flesh
Note: Tromba d’Albenga is edible, but due to its shape it is often used for decoration.


  • Italian variety
  • elongated shape
  • yellow-brown skin with slight ribs
  • aromatic pulp
  • good for preserving

In the mouth, the “Violina” variety is a real taste explosion. The basic taste is finely nutty, which is supplemented with a fruity sweetness. This makes the pumpkin very versatile in the kitchen. It is suitable for both savory dishes and refined desserts.

Overview: Garden Squash (Cucurbita pepo)

The garden pumpkin is one of the most common types of pumpkin. Only pumpkins are found in the genus, but also zucchinis. In 2005, the garden pumpkin received a special honor because it was declared medicinal plant of the year. This also speaks for it, because pumpkins, not only the garden pumpkin, have a high health value to include in the menu. Due to the possibility of preserving different types of pumpkin or storing them for a long time, pumpkins can be eaten in different forms almost all year round.

Baby Bear:

  • mini pumpkin
  • intense orange peel
  • very tasty pulp

Baby Bear is one of the varieties that is often offered as a poisonous ornamental gourd. However, Baby Bear is an excellent edible squash, which is characterized by its very tasty pulp. In culture, it is very easy to care for and needs little space. Therefore, it is also suitable for cultivation in limited areas and can even be grown in a pot on the balcony with good yields.

Jack O’Lantern:

very solid shell

  • very firm flesh
  • mild taste
  • typical orange peel

Jack O’Lantern is the classic carving pumpkin , but it’s also edible, which many people don’t know. The taste is rather mild and not very dominant. It is particularly suitable for mixed dishes, but can also be used for soups. Anything left over from carving can therefore be further processed in the kitchen without hesitation.

Lady Godiva:

  • steirischer Ölkürbis
  • round smooth surface
  • fibrous light orange pulp
  • Weight up to 5 kg

The “Lady Godiva” variety is just one of the many representatives of the Styrian oil pumpkin. Compared to other types, the seeds of these pumpkin varieties have no shell and are therefore used, among other things, to extract the well-known oil. The kernels can be eaten directly and can also be roasted, for example. That is the advantage of Styrian oil pumpkins, because they can be used almost entirely, except for the skin.

White Squash:

  • flat ufo shape
  • white shell
  • aromatic taste

Pâtisson squash varieties are also called Ufo squash because of their flat and round shape. They are available in a wide variety of variants, including some with a yellow shell. Which variant tastes better is often a controversial topic. Many swear that yellow pâtisson squash tastes better than the white variety. Others, on the other hand, prefer only white pumpkin varieties in terms of taste.

Sweet Dumpling:

  • small squash
  • Cream-white ground color with green stripes in the rib depressions
  • Taste similar to chestnuts
  • very suitable for bearding or baking

Vegetable Spaghetti:

  • Italian variety
  • elongated to oval shape
  • pale orange peel
  • light flesh

Vegetable Spaghetti is just one of the many representatives of spaghetti squash. They got their name because the flesh of these varieties can be peeled off like spaghetti.

Overview: Giant pumpkins (Cucurbita maxima)

Among the giant pumpkins is the “Atlantic Giant” variety, which can easily set world records as a heavyweight of over half a ton. But also the popular Hokkaido, which does not represent a separate subspecies or genus, but is grouped together under this name because of its intense orange skin, can be found among the giant pumpkins. The Hokkaido pumpkins in particular are also of great economic importance, as they are one of the most frequently sold types in the vegetable trade.

Altantic Giant:

  • light orange rather even skin
  • yellow flesh with a pleasant taste
  • very suitable for preservation
  • can produce very large fruits

With the Atlantic Giant, the name says it all, because it is one of the giant pumpkin varieties. The variety even set the European record in 2009 with a weight of around 650 kg.


  • Shape similar to a flat cap
  • orange top
  • green and white substructure
  • very tasty pulp

The bishop’s cap, also known as the Turkish turban because of its unusual shape, plays a rather subordinate role as a squash. However, this is because the pumpkin is difficult to work with due to its shape. However, if you take the trouble, you will be rewarded with a very aromatic and tasty pulp.

Note: There is also a non-edible variant of the bishop’s hat, the turban gourd. When buying, you should therefore pay close attention to whether it is the edible or poisonous variant.

Blue Ballet:

  • blue-grey shell
  • smooth shell
  • up to 3 kg weight
  • firm orange flesh
  • very good storage capacity

Yellow hundredweight:

  • yellow to slightly orange skin
  • very large fruits
  • very good durability
  • intense yellow flesh

The hundredweight is not only available with a yellow skin, but also with a red colour. The hundredweight is a very old type of pumpkin that is not only very popular because of its size, but also because of its excellent properties. The hundredweight is suitable for canning, but is also easy to store.


  • pretty tough
  • very productive
  • intensive orange Haut
  • Flesh very firm
  • nutty taste

Solor is the most famous representative among the “Hokkaido” pumpkin varieties. Compared to other varieties that are offered as Hokkaido, it is characterized above all by its robustness. It is significantly less susceptible to plant diseases and, although all Hokkaidos can only be stored to a limited extent, has a significantly longer shelf life than other varieties. In addition, the Solor variety can also reach considerable sizes if the conditions are right. A weight of over a kilo to even two kilos is possible.

Yellow Pumpkin:

  • round pumpkin almost without ribs
  • light orange shell
  • up to 30 kg in weight
  • yellow and firm flesh

The Yellow Pumpkin has a high water content and is therefore primarily suitable for soups. Conditionally it is also suitable for insertion.

Overview: Bottle gourd (Lagenaria siceraria)

The bottle gourd is a separate genus within the gourd family. It is only distantly used with the Cucurbita squash species. The gourds were originally used to store liquids or as a drinking vessel. However, some pumpkin varieties are edible and have a very tasty flesh.


  • Italian variety
  • climbing gourd
  • fruits up to 2 m long
  • very tasty pulp

The Hercules Club is the best-known representative of the bottle gourds. Very thin parts of the pumpkin can be prepared like stewed cucumbers or processed like zucchini. The thickened base can be hollowed out and the pulp can be used further. The rest is dried and can be used as a cup.

Wine lifter Kittenberger:

  • Austrian variety
  • Fruit in the form of wine siphons
  • only young fruits edible
  • dried fruit is also used as a musical instrument

Overview: ornamental gourds (Cucurbita pepo var. ovifera)

The ornamental pumpkins actually belong to the type of garden pumpkins, but form their own subspecies there. In this subspecies Cucurbita pepo var. ovifera those species or varieties can be found that are not edible and even poisonous. However, ornamental gourds are often not regarded as a separate variety, but many gourds that would actually be edible end up in this category, but are offered as ornamental gourds due to their complex processing, which is often due to a very uneven surface. These include, for example, the gooseneck gourd or baby bear, which, as described above, can be a tasty squash.

Due to conflicting information, however, very tasty pumpkins are often not served on the plate. If you want to know whether the pumpkin is edible or poisonous, all you have to do is try a small piece of the raw pumpkin. If it tastes bitter and unpleasant, the pumpkin contains toxic substances.

Crossbreeding can occur, especially when cultivating edible squashes and poisonous ornamental squashes in a limited space. Therefore, a small piece of every pumpkin that ends up on the plate should be tasted beforehand. This also applies to courgettes, because a cross with poisonous ornamental gourds is also possible here.

Ornamental gourds have a very large variety of shapes and colors. Since the edibility plays no role here, only the appearance, there are hardly any limits to the variability in the combination. Ornamental gourds are often sold commercially as a mixture containing different types of gourds for decoration.

Bicolor Pear:

  • pear shaped
  • White Stripes
  • upper part yellow coloring
  • lower part green coloring
  • not eatable

Flying Saucer:

  • star shaped
  • center dark green
  • outer edge light yellow
  • not eatable

crown gourd:

  • crown-like shape
  • different colours
  • not all varieties are edible


  • light to dark green
  • oblong shape, thinning towards the top
  • warty to wrinkled surface
  • not eatable

Wart Squash:

  • warty surface
  • different colours

Wart squashes are not a separate variety, but are merely a summary of different pumpkin varieties that have a warty surface. Among the wart gourds there are occasionally old cultivars that are even edible.

Yugoslavian Fingers

  • UFO-shaped with yellow tips
  • White to yellowish
  • not eatable

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