En Español

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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 Non-Natives Questions

Probably non-native crapemyrtle trees damaged by hurricane
January 15, 2009 - I have 5 crape myrtle trees. I live in Galveston, Tx and when Hurricane Ike came through in September the salt water I think killed them. They have not come back since then and are brown with no leave...
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native orange tree in Palm Harbor FL
January 03, 2010 - Almost all fruit has fallen off my orange tree. It looks moldy or like mildew on tree and on fruit?
view the full question and answer

Problems with peonies in Indianola, WA
May 18, 2009 - My 5 year old peony plant didn't come up. I thought it was dead so I dug it up. I found a clump of thick roots. I separated them, and then realized these were probably the bulbs. It is the middle...
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native Mayten tree
November 05, 2008 - Hi. Our Mayten tree was doing really well, but just in the last month has last a great amount of its leaves, and it seems to be tilting slightly now. We placed some small plants in the same area of ...
view the full question and answer

Jasminum polyanthum Deer Resistant and Native?
March 07, 2015 - Are Jasminum polyanthum deer resistant? They are selling these plants at Trader Joe's right now so I'm assuming it's native to our area. But the instructions don't say anything about deer.
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center