Unidentified Squash Variety


Hi. I planed squash this year for first time. Given limited space, I used a trellis and the plants are thriving. I have many flowers that are producing plants. One for off to a very fast start and I have had to put it in a sling.
The garden is in Oakvile and in a raised bed (and on a trellis) . Lots of sun. The soil is loam. I lost the ident tag I planted and cannot seem to find a matching picture on the internet. Do you know what it is? The colours are similar to a Curazo squash except it is more oval than long. It weighs about 3lbs.


Your stocking sling is a great idea to support the heavy fruit growing up your trellis but, unfortunately for us, it also hides the true skin colour of your unidentified squash. The fruit appears a dark zucchini green with pale speckles. I assume the squash is quite large- if you estimate its weight to be three pounds.

There are so many summer and winter squash varieties that it is difficult to accurately identify your squash without seeing a close up of a leaf so that we can look at leaf colour, texture, veins and margin (the edge of the leaf). A flower and fruit close up would also be useful.

Do you think your squash has a thin skin like a zucchini (a summer squash), or a thicker tougher skin like a butternut (a winter squash)? If you stick your fingernail into the skin, by mid summer, the skin on winter squash varieties will be becoming firmer and will give you more resistance than a fresh zucchini.

The ridges that run the length of your fruit resemble a zucchini, and the shape is consistent with a Cousa Squash, or Middle Eastern Zucchini, but these are usually picked and eaten when the fruit is smaller- about the size of a short wide zucchini, and less than a pound in weight.

The Mexican Curarzo Squash, that you mentioned, does look similar to yours, although I think the pale skin flecks on your squash are larger. At this stage of the growing season the fruit of the Curarzo Squash would more likely be zucchini sized, not 3 pounds.

I am wondering if your mystery squash might be a Spaghetti Squash. They grow like a vine, and will happily trail up a trellis, like yours has, for several feet. They are winter squash, and take about 100 days to ripen, compared to summer squash- which can be harvested after 50 days and eaten while the skin is tender and the seeds are soft.

Spaghetti Squash, Curcurbita pepo comes from the diverse cucumber and melon family. There are several varieties which usually ripen to yellow, except the Curcurbita pepo ‘Orangetti’ which turns orange when ripe. The ripe fruit can weigh up to 8 pounds. Unripe Spaghetti Squash are nutritious and used as a substitute for zucchinis in some recipes. As the fruit ripen they develop a sweeter, slightly nuttier flavour.

Check to see if your squash has prickles on the stems and underside of the leaf, typical of winter squash varieties. Spaghetti Squash also have lobed leaves. The true test will be when you cut through your mature squash to see if it reveals the characteristic stringy spaghetti looking edible pulp. If you cut open an unripe fruit it looks more like a zucchini inside, but with darker seeds.

If your squash doesn’t match this description, you might like to send us some more photos. I am attaching some information on how to photograph plants for identification. Thank you for contacting the Toronto Master Gardeners.