Pumpkins at a Glance

Try these pumpkin varieties for pies, carving, decorating and more.

June/July 2013

By Barbara Pleasant

Because saving and replanting pumpkin seeds is easy and practical, all of the pumpkin varieties listed here are open-pollinated. Learn more about organic pumpkin production in All About Growing Pumpkins.

Description Varieties
Pie pumpkins
(Cucurbita Pepo)
Small, with thick flesh and few strings. Good for shorter seasons because fruits continue to ripen as they cure. Pie pumpkins are the best cooking pumpkins. ‘Baby Pam’ (99 days, 4 pounds)
‘New England Pie’ (100 to 105 days, 4 to 6 pounds)
‘Winter Luxury’ (102 days, 5 to 7 pounds)
Carving pumpkins
(C. pepo)
These classic pumpkins have thin flesh for easy carving but are not worth much in the kitchen. Carving pumpkins are valued for looks rather than flavor. ‘Casper’ (115 days, 15 pounds)
‘Howden’ (115 days, 20 to 35 pounds)
‘Young’s Beauty’ (100 days, 8 to 12 pounds)
Oilseed pumpkins
(C. pepo var. styriaca)
These varieties are grown for their nutritious, hulless seeds, which can be eaten like nuts or pressed to extract their healthful oil. ‘Kakai’ (100 days, 5 to 8 pounds)
‘Lady Godiva’ (100 days, 4 to 6 pounds)
‘Williams’ (110 days, 12 to 15 pounds)
Moschata pumpkins
(C. moschata)
Flattened, ribbed pumpkins with smooth skin are resistant to squash vine borers. Delicious orange flesh resembles that of closely related butternut squash. ‘Dickinson’ (115 days, 20 to 40 pounds)
‘Fairytale’ (110 days, 15 pounds)
‘Long Island Cheese’ (105 days, 6 to 10 pounds)
Miniature pumpkins
(C. pepo)
A snap to grow and great fun for kids. Prolific vines often bear heavy crops. Primarily used decoratively. ‘Baby Boo’ (100 days, 3 to 4 ounces)
‘Jack Be Little’ (95 days, 3 to 4 ounces)
‘Lil’ Pump-Ke-Mon’ (100 days, 1 to 2 pounds)
Giant Pumpkins
(C. maxima)
If fruits are thinned and vines are kept well-fed and well-watered, these varieties can produce decorative pumpkins that weigh hundreds of pounds. ‘Atlantic Giant’ (120 days, 50 to 200 pounds)
‘Big Max’ (120 days, 50 to 100 pounds)
Locate sources for these pumpkin varieties with our custom Seed and Plant Finder.

Contributing editor Barbara Pleasant gardens in southwest Virginia, where she grows vegetables, herbs, fruits, flowers and a few lucky chickens. Contact Barbara by visiting her website or finding her on Google+.

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