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

Edible plants in Lycoming County, Pennsylvania
March 02, 2014 - Hi again! Thanks for answering my one question. I have another though. Do you know of any edible plants with no nasty side effects ( like stomach aches or being nauseous) that grow in Lycoming County ...
view the full question and answer

Information about Cedar Sage from Austin
March 11, 2011 - I am new to the Austin area and was wondering about cedar sage (salvia roemeriana). Is this plant considered aromatic, non-aromatic of chia? And, other than the edible flower are other parts of the ...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
August 04, 2012 - We found a bush on our ranch in southern Gonzales County. It has oval shaped leaves about an inch long. There are no thorns on the branches. Fruit is round and smooth, the size of a small cherry to...
view the full question and answer

Native wild plum trees for Johnson County, Texas
December 24, 2012 - What native wild plums will grow in southern Johnson County? And where can I find the trees locally? Thank you
view the full question and answer

Native Edible Plants of Pennsylvania Books
April 25, 2013 - What is the best book that you know of for finding wild plant edibles in Pennsylvania?
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