Do I have zucchini?

kathy-tx(9)May 10, 2012

I need some help. I didn't know I did until I started looking around google. :) I have a volunteer plant(s) from my compost. What I was sure is zucchini and a cherry tomato. The zuke is now my question. It ha come up from store bought zukes, which have all been regular long green ones. My plant is producing round ones. I thought maybe it would grow out, but the ones I actually planted in the garden are long and skinny to start, not round. So my first question is how do I have round ones?

Secondly, these round ones are all growing from the vine. I have it trained and tied to some chicken wire. I just came across something that said all zukes grow from the base of the plant, not the vines, from which I have several fruits. I'll attach a pic if I can figure it out.

Thank you guys!!

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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

What you most likely had was some hybrid zuke originally (the one from the store) and the seeds made it to the compost pile. The new one that sprouted from the pile has reverted to parent stock like hybrids do since they don't breed true. So it could easily have unusual growth patterns and may or may not be edible.

It could also have crossed with some other member of the family while it was growing (before you bought it). If that happened then you could have the mutant squash from compost hell. :)

So do you have zucchini? Maybe. Probably not.


    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 8:09PM
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I was so excited now im kinda sad. :( makes me want to go cut it off now and try it. It's about egg size right now, I'll try it over the weekend.

Thank you Dave!

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 8:47PM
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nancyjane_gardener(Zone 8ish North of San Francisco in the "real" wine country)

Hmmmm. I don't see why it wouldn't be edible.
Wouldn't the parent plant be some sort of squash to start?
I've had some volunteers that were totally different from what I planted the year before and they were wonderful (and prolific!) Many neighbors picked them up and enjoyed them from the end of my driveway. Nancy

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 9:04PM
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Cutting it off won't accomplish anything. Its not like the plant is going to grow a different shape next time, it'll just make more like the one you have now. Just leave it alone and let it produce. You never know, what you have may be better than a normal zucchini.

Remember, just because something isn't true to type does not automatically mean that it is worse, just that it is different.

Otherwise your only real option is to pull the entire plant up and re-use the space. Although its probably a bit late to start something brand new in it, I guess you could get a store bought plant thats already fairly large.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 9:03AM
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If the plant is a vine and it has round things then it is a pumpkin not a zucchini. Both plants are Cucurbita pepo and can cross freely. Immature pumpkins can be eaten like zucchini but no one grows them for that when there are compact zucchini plants. There are also compact round zucchini plants. You should never get a zucchini from a compost pile, ever. If you do then you are waiting too long to pick your zucchini. Most people pick them somewhere in the 4 - 8 inch range and at that point all the seeds are immature and won't germinate.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 9:26AM
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Did you bury your Halloween pumpkins there? I've had dozens of pumpkins pop up this year. Maybe that's what you've got. Or how about a melon?

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 11:20AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Hmmmm. I don't see why it wouldn't be edible.
Wouldn't the parent plant be some sort of squash to start?

Probably. But my comments about that were directed at the possibility that it has also crossed. Members of the family cross readily and since it was a store-bought zucchini she had no way of knowing if any crossing had taken place.

Hybrid crossing can commonly result in inedible fruit in the F2 or F3 generation.


    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 11:35AM
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Um, just playing Devil's advocate here, but how would the seeds from a "store bought" zucchini germinate, since they are picked and sold at such an extremely immature state, far too young to contain viable seeds?

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 11:53AM
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I'm curious to know what it tasted like.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 12:52PM
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Thanks everyone! The possibility of pumpkin never crossed my mind since zucchini had been thrown out lately. I did put in some (store bought) pumpkin last fall or early winter.

When i said id cut it off, I meant to taste it. Now I think I'll leave it on and see what it grows up to be. Stick around and I'll post a pic this evening. And looks like I'll be building a sturdier trellis this weekend.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 1:55PM
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Picture of plant in question. See link below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pumpkin?

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 9:10PM
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