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Varieties of Pumpkins and Jack -O-Lanterns

We all love pumpkins. There are hundreds literally hundreds of varieties to choose from. Through eons of time, these notorious cross breeders, have produced a remarkable selection to choose from. Pumpkins are members of the Cucurbita family.

To help you to select the perfect pumpkin seeds to grow, we have broken them down into five types below.

Did you Know? A pumpkin is a pumpkin, until it is carved. Then, it is a Jack O'Lantern. Pumpkin Carving


Miniature pumpkins- These cute little guys fit in the palm of your hand. They are great for Fall decorating. Miniature pumpkins are classified as gourds. There are also recipes for cooking with these tiny pumpkins. Members include:

Field Pumpkins, or Jack O'Lanterns (Cucurbita Pepo)- This group includes a huge number of varieties of pumpkins. Varieties of field pumpkins include:

  • Connecticut Field

  •  Jack O'Lantern - Simply named, this is the common pumpkin grown for carving. The shell is bright orange, and ribbed.

  • Howden- It makes a good carving pumpkin. Big stem.

  • Howden Biggie - Big pumpkin, thick stem.

  • Spooktacular - Small fruits, good for little tykes. At about 85 days, they are ready to harvest earlier than others.

  • Casper - Uniquely off-white color. Flesh is very hard. Add one to your Halloween display, and watch passersby stop to get a look.

  • Rouge D'Etant - This small sized, with an attractive, reddish-orange color.

  • Australian Blue (Jalhrude) - Here's a unique conversation piece pumpkin. This pumpkin is deeply ribbed and greenish blue.

Giant Pumpkins (Cucurbita Maxima)- Giant pumpkin growing has become a very popular hobby. Giant pumpkin growers are among the most devoted, and perhaps fanatical of all gardeners. Popular giant pumpkin varieties include:

See the world record giant pumpkin - it's over 2,000 pounds!

How to Grow Giant Pumpkins

Cooking Varieties - All pumpkins are edible. Some types are better for baking and cooking than others. The cooking varieties have a sweeter taste and smoother texture. They include:

  • Amish Pie Pumpkin - This is a popular and tasty heirloom, great for baking pies and other recipes.

  • Fairytale pumpkins -This heirloom pumpkin is perfect for baking. Bright orange fruit have a unique, deeply ribbed shape.

  • Sugar Pie - Very popular for baking and cooking. As it's name implies, it's pulp is sweet.

Cucurbita Moschata-- This group of primarily squash includes the pumpkins frequently used for commercially canned pumpkins. Commercial pumpkin varieties usually have a tan-colored skin.

Pumpkin Recipes:

May we suggest:

More  Gardening Resources:

Pumpkin Nook is the internet authority on pumpkins. From how to grow, to recipes and history, it's all there.

Carving - After you've grown 'em, it's time to decorate and carve 'em.

How to Grow Big Pumpkins -and small ones, too.

Pumpkin On a Stick!? Perhaps.......  

Pumpkin Trivia

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