En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Sunday - June 10, 2012

From: Kyle, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Edible Plants
Title: Possible non-native squash and gourd cross from Kyle TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Last year I gathered seeds from the yellow squash plants that were grown from a seed packet (hybrid, I assume). Well, now the fruit produced by those plants seems to be a cross between a yellow squash and a gourd: they're yellow, but are somewhat bumpy and have greenish tints in the skin. Are these perfectly healthy to eat? I can put them in the slow cooker for a day and they taste fine, but are they OK to eat in massive quantities ~ha!~?

ANSWER:

Because of its frequent hybridization, squash is not considered a plant native to North America, which is where Mr. Smarty Plants' expertise lies. However, here is a previous Mr.Smarty Plants question on the edibility of gourds. Growing anything from seeds gathered from a hybrid is always interesting. It might breed true, it might produce one or the other of the included hybrid strains or it might not reproduce at all. As we said, this vegetable is so intensively hybridized there is no knowing what the ancestry of your squash is.

We found several Internet sites that might help you decide what your plant is and whether it is entirely safe to eat it.

Cornell University Extension Please Don't Eat the Gourds

whatscooking america.net Types of Squash

Here is link to Wikipedia images on squash. You can move your cursor over a picture, which will enlarge it and when you click, it will take you to the website from which the picture came. Probably whether you go to the trouble of cooking what you have, or pull it all out as a mystery is entirely up to you. We don't think it is going to poison anyone.

 

 

More Edible Plants Questions

Non-native invasive henbit from Round Rock TX
April 27, 2013 - I've read in this book "Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants" that Henbit is an invasive plant in Texas. I've also read that it provides an early source of nectar to bees and butterflies when li...
view the full question and answer

Worms in wild plums
June 03, 2009 - Wild Plums... They are just starting to get ripe here in East Texas. Picked a few today and they all had dark spots on them. When I cut them open there were tiny worms inside. Does this mean they a...
view the full question and answer

Fiber and dye plants at the Wildflower Center from Round Rock TX
May 24, 2012 - When I visited the Wildflower Center recently I noticed a garden labeled as containing fiber and dye plants, but the individual plants and their uses were not all labeled. I would be very interested ...
view the full question and answer

Edible wild plants in Montana
September 30, 2005 - Where can I find information about wild edible plants in Montana?
view the full question and answer

Weed prevention in vegetable gardens
September 26, 2007 - Mr.Smarty Plants - I know this isn't your area, but we have a vegetable garden that has been plagued by summertime weeds. Do you have a recommendation for a control plan we could implement during t...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center