by Stephen Mifsud
   2 Mar 2024      ()
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Cucurbita pepo   (Pumpkin)

Cucurbita pepo  (CUCURBITACEAE.) 
Images for this profile are taken from the Maltese Islands after year 2000.

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Profile Date Jan-2009 (taxon update: none)
Citation for this page Mifsud, S. (2022). Cucurbita pepo - datasheet created on Jan-2009. Retrieved from on 02-Mar-2024

Nomenclature and Basic Information

Species name :

Cucurbita pepoL.
Published in Sp. Pl. 1010 (1753)

Synonyms :
(basionym or principal syn.)

Cucurbita aurantia Willd.
Full list of synonyms : [Euro+Med] [PlantList] [IPNI] [POWO] [Catalogue of Life] []

Plant Family :

Cucurbitaceae Juss. (The Gourd or Cucumber Family)
2 species from the Cucurbitaceae family are recorded from the Maltese Islands.

English name(s) :

Pumpkin, Field Pumpkin, Summer Squash

Maltese name(s) :

Qargħa ħamra

Status for Malta :

Cultivated species. Introduced plants cultivated for agricultural or horticultural purposes but sometimes can be occassionaly found as an escapee close to the site of their original cultivation.

Frequency :

Very Common     Common    Frequent     Scarce     Rare    Very rare    Extinct

Growth form :

Raunkiaer lifeform [info]: THEROPHYTE ( annual plants, herbaceous )
Germination [info]: Dicotyledon

Legal Protection :

Not legally protected till the last update of this website (2/Mar/2022)

Red List (1989) :

Not listed in the Red Data Book of the Maltese Islands

Flowering Time :

July – September

Colour of Flowers:



Toxic, and may lead to irreversible damage or death if consumed in large quantities

Name Derivation :


Planting in rural areas :

Can be planted in rural areas according to ERA Guidelines

Remarks :

Numerous agricultural varieties have been produced from this species, mainly differing in the fruit.

Description, Habitat and Distribution
Habitat in Europe: Agriculture casual escape near cultivated fields
Preferred habitat in Malta: Cultivated crop sometimes found escaping in field margins and over rubble walls, especially when fields are located near valley sides
Botanical Description: Stems up to c. 10 mm in diameter, hispid. Leaves 15-30 cm, broadly ovate in outline, cordate, variously lobed, hispid-setose; lobes acute. Peduncles of male and female flowers 5-angled, slightly expanded below the female flowers. Calyx-lobes linear-lanceolate; corolla 7-10 cm in diameter, deep yellow; lobes ovate, acute or acuminate. Fruit 15-40 cm in diameter, globose to cylindrical, green or yellow, smooth or tuberculate; seeds white.
Distributional range: S. Europe
Native region outside Europe: (N. Central America)

Distributional map in Europe
and the Mediterranean region (2018):
Occurrences in Europe.
(from Flora Europaea pre year 1993):
Albania, the Azores, the Balaeric Islands, Britain (excl. Northern Ireland and Channel islands), Bulgaria, Corse, Crete, France (incl. Monaco and Channel Islands but excluding Corse), Greece, Ireland, Spain (incl. Andorra but excl. the Balaerics), Italy (excl. Sicily and Sardignia), ex-Jugoslavia, Portugal, Sardinia, Sicily and/or Malta, Turkey (European part)
Occurrences in Europe and the Mediterranean region.
(from Euro+Med Checklist, 2019)
  Country codes  
[Ab(A N) aAl cAr aAu(A) aAz(F L S) aBe(B L) aBr cBu By Ca(F T) Cg cCo aCs Ct aDa Es aFe aGa(C F) aGe cHe Hs(S) cHu nIt La Lt Mo aNo cPo Rf(C E K N NW S) Rm nSa nSi(M S) cSk cSM aSu Tu cUk Uk(K U)]

Links & Further literature (0 papers)

Google Web

Google Images

Google Scholar

Research Gate




Med Checklist

Cat. of Life



World Flora Online

Plants of the World Online

Vienna Virt. Herb.

RBGE Herbarium

KEW Herbarium




Kindly Email if there are papers and publications about local studies or information about this species to be included in the list above.

Species Images (8 images)
   Cucurbita pepo   -   Image Code: CUCPE-0.
   Cucurbita pepo   -   Image Code: CUCPE-1.
   Cucurbita pepo   -   Image Code: CUCPE-2.
   Cucurbita pepo   -   Image Code: CUCPE-3.
   Cucurbita pepo   -   Image Code: CUCPE-4.
   Cucurbita pepo   -   Image Code: CUCPE-5.
   Cucurbita pepo   -   Image Code: CUCPE-6.
   Cucurbita pepo   -   Image Code: CUCPE-7.

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Section A:  Additional Information about this plant species
Own observations: Info from published material (books, journals, website):
Reference of published material:
Section B:   Where have you seen this plant on the Maltese Islands?
Locations in Malta or Gozo where you have seen this plant. Only applies for rare plants.

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Try to be as concise as possible. Examples: Dingli Cliffs (near chapel), Wied Incita (Zebbug side), Triq il-Kbira (Qormi), Barriera ta' Ghajn Abdul (Xlendi), Fields East of Salib tal-gholja (Siggiewi). GPS co-ordinates are also welcomed!
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