Sunday, October 2, 2016

1820 - 1920 - Melon Seed Reticules!... Who Knew?

I finally finished the Squash, Pumpkin and Gourd section of Sturtevant's History of Vegetables.    I thought I'd never emerge from it!    The great thing about that section was I kept finding things that were very interesting, but not right for that post. Here is one of them. I love this!!!

The book I found that mentioned the art of melon seed bags is at the end of this post. While that article is from the 1920s it seems this needle art craft was in practice from at least the mid 1800s.



This bag (above) was offered on eBay in 2013. 
 I do not know if it sold as the reserve was $250.00.


This extraordinary piece is from the collection of the Staten Island Historical Society,Historic Richmond Town. You should go there and see the detail photos and read the information.

This next article is from The Delineator, Volume 64, Issue 2, 1904.



And then I found in an 1830s book this pin cushion!

A MELON-SEED PINCUSHION.

Make a flat circular pincushion in the manner of those stuffed with flannel, and cover it with silk. Have ready a sufficient quantity of musk-melonseeds, clean and dry. With a strong needle pierce a hole through the broad end of every one. String them on threads, or on needle-fulls of buff-coloured silk of various lengths. 

Begin at the centre of the pincushion, and sew on the strings of melon-seeds; every row or circle fitting in neatly between the seeds of the preceding one. The circle or strings of course increase in circumference as you approach the outer edge of the pincushion. Do both sides in the same manner. The last row of seeds that finishes the outer edge must be strung on a fine wire; and in the finishing row insert between each seed two little glass beads of the very smallest size, and of the same colour as the silk of the pincushion; blue or pink, for instance. The outer row, that is, the one that is stiffened with wire, must project a little beyond the edge of the pincushion.

The pins are stuck in the binding that is inserted between the two sides. Fasten to it a long string of ribbon.
American Girl's Book: Or, Occupation for Play Hours
by Eliza Leslie
1831





This is what got me started on the melon seed needlework.

Woman's Progress Association, 1920




Melon Seed Bags
A fascinating work by which any woman can make pin money is the making of little handbags of steel beads and melon seeds — keep the bags out of the way of the mice. Each bag requires four bunches of beads, the average cost of which is twelve cents a bunch, and the desirable size to use is number nine.
The melon seeds dried at home are desirable as they are plump and not brittle. Gilt beads are sometimes substituted for the steel beads. A mesh work of seeds and beads forms the body of the bag. A lining of silk or soft satin with a ribbon or silk cord draw-string constitutes this dainty accessory. The lining may be of lavender and the draw-string of silver gray ribbon, or any other color combination preferred.



Money for the Woman who Wants it: A Practical Presentation of the Principles Underlying the Planning of Successful Enterprises and Spare Time Work for the Woman who Wants to Earn

1889 - Squash, Pumpkin, and Gourd - Part 18b of Sturtevant's History of Garden Vegetables -


(Continued from page 646.) 
Published August 1, 1889 
https://archive.org/details/jstor-2450971 

Remember, to see the footnotes to find the books Sturtevant used, go to the link above.  

And when I insert my two cents into Sturtevant's text I try to remember to do it in red type.

Mid-September - I broke this original installment of his work into two because, as I viewed the squash section I had the gut feeling I might never finish it!  I guess I did if you are reading this. :-) 
Later in October:  This is not the most organized bit of writing by Sturtevant.  I give links at the end to some modern articles if you want an up-to-date read.   
However, here it is.  Enjoy the pictures!!


SQUASH, PUMPKIN, AND GOURD.  

The Squash. 

The word squash seems to have been derived from the American aborigines, and in particular from those tribes occupying the northeastern Atlantic coast, and seems to have been originally applied to the summer squash, as by Wood, when he says, 
"In summer, when their corn is spent, isquotusquashes is their best bread; a fruit much like a pumpkin." 
1503, 
Bourdichon, J., Grandes Heures Anne de Bretagne
The image is identified as depicting Cucurbita pepo subsp. texana.
Roger Williams writes the word 
"Askutasquash, — their vine apples, — which the English, from them call squashes; about the bigness of apples of several colors." 
Josselyn gives also a new form to the word, writing 
"Squashes, but more truly squoutersquashes, a kind of mellon or rather gourd; for they sometimes degenerate into gourds. Some of these are green; some yellow; some longish, like a gourd; others round, like an apple; all of them pleasant food, boyled and buttered, and seasoned with spice. But the yellow squash — called an apple squash (because like an apple), and about the bigness of a pome water — is the best kind." 
This apple squash, by name at least, as also by the description so far as applicable, is even now known to culture, but is rarely grown on account of its small size.  
Van der Donck, after speaking of the pumpkins of New Netherlands (1642—53), adds,
 "The natives have another species of this vegetable peculiar to themselves, called by our people quaasiens, a name derived from the aborigines, as the plant was not known to us before our intercourse with them. It is a delightful fruit, as well to the eye on account of its fine variety of colors, as to the mouth for its agreeable taste 
It is gathered early in summer, and when it is planted in the middle of April, the fruit is fit for eating by the first of June. They do not wait for it to ripen before making use of the fruit, but only until it has attained a certain size. They gather the squashes, and immediately place them on the fire without any further trouble." 
In 1683 Worlidge uses the word squash, saying, 
"There are lesser sorts of them [pompeons] that are lately brought into request that are called squashes, the edible fruit whereof, boyl'd and serv'd up with powdered beef, is esteemed a good sawce," 
and Kalm in his Travels says distinctly that 
"The squashes of the Indians, which now are cultivated by Europeans, belong to those kind of gourds which ripen before any other." 
These squashes of New England were apparently called sitroules by Champlain in 1605, who describes them " as big as the fist." Lahontan  in 1703 calls the squashes of southern Canada citrouilles, and compares with the melon, which indicates a round form. 

These "squashes," now nearly abandoned in culture, would seem to be synonymous, in some of their varieties at least, with the macock of Virginia and the Virginian watermelon described in Gerarde's Herbal as early as 1621. 

The Perfect Gem Squash, introduced in 1881, seems to belong to this class, and is very correctly figured by Tragus in 1552, who says they are called Mala indica, or in German Indianisch opffel, and occur of four colors, saffron yellow, creamy white, orange, and black. He also gives the name Summer opffel, which indicates an early squash, and the names zucco de Syria and zucco de Peru, which indicate a foreign origin. 


To identify this claimed recent introduction as synonymous with Tragus' Cucumis seu zucco marinus may seem rather improbable. The Perfect Gem and Tragus' plant have the following points in common: Fruit of like form and size; so also the leaf, if the proportions between leaf and fruit as figured may be trusted; seed sweet in both; color alike, "Quae Candida foris and quae ex pallido lutea sunt poma."  The plants are runners in both.  


Fuchs



Compare also with the description of the Maycock, and it appears to be the same in all but color. A curious instance of survival seems to be here noted, or else the regaining of a lost form through atavism. 



A careful comparison with the figures and the description given would seem to bring together as synonyms: 


  • Cucumis marinus. Fuchs., 1542,699; Roszlin, 1550, 116. 
  • Cucumis vel zucco marinus. Trag., 1552,835. 
  • Cucurbita indie a rotunda. Lugd., 1587,1., 116. 
  • Pepo rotundus minor. Dod., 1616, 666. 
  • Pepo minor rotundus. Bodaens, 1644, 783. 
  • Cucurbite folio aspero, sive zucchce. Icon., IV., Chabr., 1673, 130. 
  • The Maycock. Ger., 1633,919. 
  • The Perfect Gem, 1881. 












< Cucumis vel zucco marinus
1640; Parkinson, Theatrum Botanicvm: The Theater Of Plants

The distinctions between the various forms of Cucurbits seem to have been kept in mind by the vernacular writers, who did not use the words pumpion, gourd, etc., as synonyms. 

Thus in 1535 Cartier mentions as found among the Indians of Hochelega, now Montreal, "pompions, gourds." 
     
In 1586 Heriot mentions in Virginia "pompions, melons, and gourds," and Captain John Smith pumpions and macocks; Strachey,  who was in Virginia in 1610, mentions macocks and pumpions as differing. 

"Pumpions and gourds" are named by Smith for New England in 1614.    In 1648, at the mouth of the Susquehanna, mention is made of "symnels and maycocks."

The word squash in its early use, we may hence conclude, applied to those varieties of Cucurbits which furnished a summer vegetable, and was carefully distinguished from the pumpkin.    Kalm in the eighteenth century distinguishes between pumpkins, gourds, and squashes. The latter are the early sorts; the gourd includes the late sorts useful for winter supplies ; and the pompion or melon, the latter name and contemporary use giving the impression of roundness and size ; and Jonathan Carver  soon after gives indication of the confusion now existing in the definition of what constitutes a pumpkin and a squash when he says, "the melon or pumpkin, which by some are called squashes," and he names among other forms the same variety, the crookneck, or crane-neck as he calls it, which Kalm classed among gourds. 

At the present time the word squash is only used in America, with gourds, pumpkins, and marrows being the equivalent English name. The American use of the word is so confusing that it can only be defined as applying to those varieties of Cucurbita which are grown in gardens for table use, while the word pumpkin applies to those varieties grown in fields for stock purposes, and the word gourd to those ornamental forms with a woody rind and bitter flesh, or to the Lagenaria. 

This class of Cucurbits belongs to Cucurbita pepo, Cogn. in in DC. Monog., II., p. 545. 
Other forms distinctively known at present as squashes are added in proper sequence. 
The form of Cucurbit now so generally known as Bush or Summer Squash is correctly figured in 1673 by Pancovius,  under the name of Melopepo clypeatus Tab. 

Historium Plantorum

What may be the fruit was figured by Lobel in 1591, and by Dodonasus in 1616, and similar fruit with the vine and leaf by Dalechamp in 1587, Gerarde  in 1597, Dodonasus in 1616, and by J. Bauhin in 1651. 

By Ray in 1686 it is called in the vernacular "The Buckler or Simnel-Gourd".
 This word cymling or cymbling, in use at the present day in the Southern States for the Scalloped Bush Squash in particular, I find used in 1648 in "A Description of New Albion," but spelled Symnels. Jefferson  wrote the word "cymling."     In 1675, Thomson, in a poem entitled New England's Crisis, uses the word "cimnel," and distinguishes from the pumpkin. 

Whence the origin of the word I find no clue, but it was very possibly of aboriginal origin, as its use has not been transferred to Europe. In England it is called Crown Gourd and Custard Marrow; in the United States generally the Scalloped Squash, from its shape; or locally, cymling or pattypan, — this latter name derived from the resemblance to a crimped pan used in the kitchen for baking cakes. It was first noticed in Europe, so far as I can ascertain, in the sixteenth century, and has the following synonymy: 

  • Cucurbita laciniata. Lugd., 1587, I., 618. 
  • Melopepo latior clypeiformis. Lob., ic, 1591, I., 642. 
  • Pepo maximum clypeatus. Ger., 1597, 774. 
  • Pepo latus. Dod., 16 16, 666. 
  • Pepo latiorus fructus.. Dod., 1616,667. 
  • Cucurbita clypeiformis sive Siciliana melopepon latus a nonnullis vocata J. B., 165 1, II., 224. (First known to him in 1561.)
  • Melopepo clypeatus. Pancov., 1653, n. 920. 
  • The Buckler or Simnel-Gourd. Ray, Hist., 1686, I., 648. 
  • Slimmer Scalloped. This forms belongs to the Cucurbita melopepo, Lin. sp., ed. 2, p. 1435, C.pepo, Cogn., I.e. 


The Bush Crookneck is also called a squash. Notwithstanding its peculiar shape and usually warted condition, it does not seem to have received much mention by the early colonists, and to have escaped the attention of the pre-Linnean botanists, who were so apt to figure new forms.
 The most we know is that Summer Crooknecks appeared in our garden catalogues in 1828, and it is perhaps referred to by Champlain in 1605. It is now recommended in France rather as an ornamental plant than for kitchen use. This form belongs to Cucurbita pepo Naudin, Ann. Sc. Nat., Ser. 4, V., 6, p. 29. 

The Annales des sciences naturelles, Ser. 4, V., 6, mentioned above has some nice illustrations.  Naudin remarks on the extreme variability of the Curcurbita, saying he did not attempt to illustrate all kinds, but rather finding those which had some feature that remained apparent in all variations.  These are the plates.




The Winter Crookneck squash seems to have been first recorded by Ray, who received the seeds from Sir Hans Sloane and planted them in his garden, and this was the variety now known as the Striped.   It has apparently been grown in New England from the earliest times, and often attains a large size.   Josselyn refers to a Cucurbit that may be this, the fruit "longish like a gourd," the very comparison made by Ray. 

1868 - Tilton's Journal of Horticulture and Florist's Companion


Kalm mentions a winter squash in New Jersey called "crooked neck," and Carver speaks of  "crane-necks" being preserved in the West for winter supply. 

A sub-variety, the Puritan, answers to Beverley's description of a form which he calls Cushaw, an Indian name recognizable in the Ecushaw of Heriot, 1586. This form was grown at the New York Agricultural Experiment Station in 1884 from seed obtained from the Seminoles of Florida, and appears synonymous with the Neapolitan, to which Vilmorin applies the French synonym of Courge de la Florida. 
This form of squash belongs to Cucurbita moschata, Cogn., I.e., p. 546. 

The Pine Apple squash, in its perfect form, is of a remarkably distinctive character, on account of its acorn-shape and regular projection. As grown, however, the fruit is quite variable, and can be closely identified with the Pepo indicus angulosus of Gerarde, and is very well described by Ray in 1686.   This variety was introduced in 1884 by Landreth, and, as I am informed, the seed came originally from Chili.  It is a winter squash, creamy white when harvested, of a deep yellow at a later period. It belongs to Cucurbita pepo, Cogn., I.e. 

The Turban squash is easily recognized by its special form, to which it is indebted for its
name.




In France this is classed with the Giravmons, and one of its trivial names is Citroville iroquoise. It is possibly the Chilian mamillary Indian gourd of Molina in 1787, described as with spheroidal fruit with a large nipple at the end, the pulp sweet and tasting like the sweet potato. 


In 1856  Naudin describes Le Turban Rouge, and Le Turban Nouveau du Bresil, the latter of recent introduction from South America.  Its description accords with the Cucurbita clypeiformis tuberoso and verrucoso, seen by J. Bauhin in 1607. The Zapillito, from Brazil, advertised by Gregory in 1880, and said by Vilmorin to have reached France from South America about 1860, resembles the Turban squash in shape. This evidence, such as it is, points to South America as the starting point of this form. It belongs to Cucurbita maxima, Cogn., I.e. 
Vilmorin


The squashes of our markets, par excellence, are the Marrows and the Hubbard, with other varieties of the succulent stemmed. 

These found representation in our seed catalogues in 1828, in the variety called Com. Porter's Valparaiso, and which was brought from Chili shortly after the war of 1812. In the New England Farmer, Sept. 11., 1824, notice is made of a kind of melon squash or pumpkin, of moderate size, from Chili, a few seeds being received in Boston, and which is possibly the Valparaiso. 


The Hubbard squash is said by Gregory, its introducer in 1857, to be of unknown origin, but to resemble a kind which was brought by a sea captain from the West Indies. The Marblehead, also introduced by Mr. Gregory and distributed in 1867, is said directly to have come from the West Indies. 
1872








The Autumnal Marrow (syn. Boston Marrow) or Ohio was introduced in 1832, and exhibited at the rooms of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society. 

This class is to be referred to Cucurbita maxima, Cogn., I.e., and does not appear in any of the figures or descriptions of the herbalists, so far as we can ascertain, except as hereinafter noted for Lobel. 

The Pumpkin. 

QI Baishi Pumpkins
The word pumpkin is derived from the Greek pepon, Latin pepo. In the ancient Greek it was used by Galen as a compound to indicate ripe fruit, as  sukuopepona,  ripe cucumber, as also by Theophrestus peponas, and Hippocrates sikuon peponia

The word pepo was transferred in Latin to large fruit, for Pliny says distinctly that "cucumeres," when of excessive size, are called "pepones!

 By the commentators the word pepo is often applied to the melon.  Fuchsias in 1542 figures the melon under the Latin name pepo, German pfeben ; and Scaliger in 1566, Dalechamp in 1587, and Castor Durante in 1617 apply this term  pepo  or  pepon   likewise to the melon. 

The derivatives from the word pepo appear in the various European languages, as follows :

  •  Belgian: pepoenem, Lob. Obs., 1576; pompoen, Marcg., 1648, Vilm., 1883. 
  • English : pepon, Lyte, 1586; pompon, Lyte, 1586; pompion, , Ger. 1597; pumpion, J. Smith, 1606 ; pumpkin, Townsend, 1726. 
  • French: pompons, Ruel., 1536; pepon, Dod. Gal., 1559. 
  • Italian : popone, Don, 1834. 
  • Swedish : pumpa, Tengborg, 1764 ; pompa, Webst. Diet. 


In English the word melon and million was early applied to the pumpkin, as by Lyte in 1586, Gerarde in 1597 and 1633, and by a number of the early narrators of voyages of discovery. 

Pumpkins were called gourds by Lobel in 1586, and by Gerarde in 1597, and the word gourd is at present in use in England to embrace the whole class, and is equivalent to the French courge. 

In France the word courge is given by Matthiolus in 1558, and Pinaaus in 1561, and seems to have been used as applicable to the pumpkin by early navigators, as by Cartier in 1535. 

The word courge was also applicable to the Lagenaria in 1536, 1561, 1586, 1587, 1597, 1598, 1617, 1651, 1673, 1772, and is now shared with the pumpkin and squash in 1883. 

Our earlier travelers and historians often recognized in the pumpkin a different fruit from the courge, the gourd, or the melon. Cartier, on the St. Lawrence in 1584 discriminates by using the words "gros melons, concombres, and courges, " or in a Pliny translation "pompions, gourds, cucumbers." 

In 1586 a French name for what appears to be the summer squash is given by Lyte as concombre marin. With this class we may interpret Cartier's names into " gros melons pumpkins, "concombres" summer squashes, and "courge" winter crooknecks, as the shape and hard shell of this variety would suggest the gourd or Lagenaria.  

In 1586 Heriot, in Virginia, names 
"macokner, according to their several forms, called by us pompions, melons, and gourds, because they are of the like forms as those kinds in England. In Virginia such of several forms are of one taste, and very good, and do also spring from one seed. They are of two sorts : one is ripe in the space of a month, and the other in two months.'' 
Heriot apparently confuses all the forms met with with the macock, which, as we have shown in our notes on squashes, appears identical with the type of the Perfect Gem Squash, or the Cucumis niarinus of Fuchsius. The larger sorts may be his pompions, the round ones his melons, and the cushaw type his gourds, for, as we shall observe, the use of the word pompion seems to include size, and that of gourd, a hard rind. 
Note pumpkin patch in center. Village of Secoton, engraved illustration by de Bry 
accompanying Thomas Hariot's book of 1588, A Briefe and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia

Acosta indeed speaks of the Indian pompions in treating of the large-sized fruits. 
Capt. John Smith, in his Virginia, separates his pumpions and macocks, both planted by the Indians amongst their corn, and in his description of New England in 1614 speaks of pumpions and gourds. This would seem to indicate that he had a distinction in his mind, and we may infer that the word pompion was used for the like productions of the two localities, and that the word gourd in New England referred to the hard-rind or winter squashes, for Master Graves refers to Indian pompions, Rev. Francis Higginson to pompions, and Wood to pompions and isquouter-squashes in New England soon after its colonization, and Josselyn about the same period names also gourds, as quoted in our notes on the squash. 

Kalm, about the middle of .the eighteenth century, traveling in New Jersey, names "squashes of the Indians," which are a summer fruit, " gourds," meaning the winter crookneck, and "melons," which we may conclude are pumpkins;  Jonathan Carver in 1776 of the melon or pumpkin, called by some squashes, and says the smaller sorts are for summer use, the crane-neck for winter use, and names the large oblong, and in 1822 Woods speaks of pompons, or pumpions, in Illinois, as often weighing from 40 to 60 lbs. 
G├ęza Peske
(1859 - 1934)

The common field pumpkin of America is in New England carried back traditionally to the early settlement, and occurs under several forms, which have received names which are usually quite local. Such form-varieties may be tabulated alphabetically, as below as taken from Burr : 

  • Canada. Form oblate. 14 in. diam., 10 in. deep. Deep orange yellow. 
  • Cheese. Flattened. 16 in. diam., 10 in. deep. Deep reddish orange. 
  • Common Yellow. Rounded. 12 in. diam., 14 in. deep.  Clear orange yellow.
  • Long Yellow. Oval. 10 in. diam., 20 in. deep. Bright orange yellow. 
  • Nantucket. Various. 18 in. diam., 10 in. deep. Deep green. 
  • The Canada Pumpkin is of an oblate form inclining to conic, and is deeply and regularly ribbed, and when well grown of comparatively large size. It is somewhat variable in size and shape, however, as usually seen. We think we are justified in the following synonymy: Cucurbitcz indiance and peregrines. Pin., 1561, 191. 
  • Cucurbita indica, rotunda. Lugd., 1587, L> 616. 
  • Pepo rotundus compressus melonis effigie. Lob. Obs., 1576, 365; ic, 1 591, I., 642. [f) 
  • Pepo indicum minor rotundum. Ger., 1597, 774.  
  • Pepo silvestris. Dod., 1616,668. 
  • Melopepo. Tourn., 17 19, t 34. 
  • Canada Pumpkin. 
  • Vermont Pumpkin. 
  • Cheese Pumpkin. Fruit much flattened, deeply and rather regularly ribbed, broadly dishing about cavity and basin. Varies somewhat widely in the proportional breadth and diameter. 
  • Melopepo compressus alter. Lob. ic, 1591,1., 643. 
  • Pepo maximus compressus. Ger., 1597,774. 
  • Cucurbita genus, sive Melopepo compressus alter, Lobelio. J. B., 165 1, II., 266. 
  • Large Cheese. Fessenden, 1828; Bridgeman, 1832.
  • Cheese. This variety, says Burr, was extensively disseminated in the United States at the time of the American Revolution, and was introduced into New England by returning soldiers. 
  • Common Yellow Field. Fruit rounded, a little deeper than broad, flattened at the ends, rather regularly and more or less prominently ribbed. 
  • Cucurbita indica. Cam. Epit, 1586, 293. 
  • Melopepo teres. Lob. ic, 1591, 1., 643. 
  • Pepo maximus rotundus. Ger., 1597, 773. 
  • Cucurbita aspera, Icon. I. J. B., 165 1, II., 218. a. Chabr., 1673, 130. 
  • Common Yellow Field Pumpkin. 
  • Long Yellow. Fruit oval, much elongated, the length nearly or often twice the diameter, of large size, somewhat ribbed, but the markings less distinct than those of the Common Yellow. 
  • Cucumis Turcicus. Fuch., 1542,698. 
  • Melopepo. Roszlin, 1550, 116. 
  • Pepo. Tragus, 1552, 831. 
  • Cucurbita indica longa. Lugd., 1587, I., 617. 
  • Pepo maximus oblongus. Ger., 1597, 773. 
  • Pepo majer oblongus. Dod., 1616, 635 ; Bodaeus, 1644, 782- 
  • Cucurbita aspera, Icon. II J. B., 165 1, II., 218. 
  • Cucurbita folio aspero, zucha. Chabr., 1673, 130. 
  • Long Yellow Field Pumpkin. 738 
  • The "Jurumu Lusitanus Bobora " of Marcgravius and Piso would seem to belong here, except for the leaves, but the figure is a poor one.

The Maule seed book for 1906

 These forms we have just mentioned have all that something in their common appearance that at once expresses a close relationship, and to the casual observer does not express differences. 


We now pass to some other forms also known as pumpkins, but to which the term squash is sometimes applied. 

Go to this site for good page on
 another Nantucket Pumpkin!
The Nantucket Pumpkin occurs in various forms under this name, but the form I refer to, and of which I have examined specimens, belongs to Cucurbita pepo, Cogn. 1. c, and is of an oblong form, swollen in the middle and indistinctly ribbed. 
It is covered more or less completely with warty protuberances, and is of a black green color when ripe, becoming mellowed toward orange in spots by keeping. It seems closely allied to the Courge Sucriere du Bresil of Vilmorin. It is not the Cucurbita verrucosa of Dalechamp, 1587, nor of J. Bauhin, 1651, as in these figures the leaves are represented as entire, and the fruit as melon-formed and ribbed. 




In 1884 there appeared in our seedsmen's catalogues, under the name of Tennessee Sweet Potato Pumpkin, a variety very distinct, of medium size, pear-shape, little ribbed, of a creamy white striped with green color, and the stem swollen and fleshy.

 Of its history I have ascertained nothing, but it bears a quite strong likeness in shape to a tracing of a piece of "pumpkin" pottery exhumed from the Western mounds, and sent me by Lucien Carr, connected with the museum at Cambridge, Mass.   In Lobel's history, 1576, and in his plates, 1591, appear figures of a plant which in both leaf and fruit represents fairly well our variety ; and these figures are of interest as being the only ones I have yet found in the ancient botanies which represents a fruit with a swollen herbaceous stem. 

I think I am justified in the following synonymy: 

  • Pepo oblongus vulgatissimus. Lob. Obs., 1576, 365. 
  • Pepo oblogus. Lobel, ic, 1591, I., 641. 
  • Tennessee Sweet Potato Pumpkin. 127 Piso. Hist. Nat. Bras., 1648,44. 


 A quite numerous series of pumpkins are known to our seedsmen's catalogues, and some of a form quite distinct from those here noticed, but I have not as yet sufficiently studied these so as to form an opinion. I think, however, that much may be yet learned through the examination of quite complete sets of varieties within each of the three described species of Cucurbita which furnish fruits for our consumption. 

Notwithstanding the ready crossings which are so apt to occur within the ascribed species, there yet seems to exist a permanency of types which is simply marvelous, and which would seem to lend countenance in the belief that there is a need of a revision of the species, and a closer study of the various groups or types which appear to have remained constant during centuries of cultivation. If we consider the stability of types, and the record of variations that appear in cultivated plants, and the additional fact that so far as determined the originals of cultivated types have their prototype in nature, and are not the products of culture, it seems reasonable to suppose that the record of the appearance of types will throw light upon the country of their origin. 

From this standpoint, we may hence conclude that, as the present types have all been recorded in the Old World since the fifteenth century, and were not recorded before the fourteenth and succeeding centuries, there must be a connection between the fact of the discovery of America, and the fact of the appearance of pumpkins and squashes in Europe. 


The Gourd. 

The word gourd is believed to be derived from the Latin curcurbita, but it takes on various forms in the various European languages. It is spelled gowrde by Turner in 1538, gourde by Lobel in 1576, and gourd by Lyte in 1586. 

In France it is given as courgen and cohurden by Ruellius in 1536, but appears in its present form, courge, in Pinaeus, 1561.   
Dalechamp used coucourde in 1587, a name which now appears as cougourde in Vilmorin. The Belgian name appears as cauwoord in Lyte, 1586; 
and the Spanish name, calabassa, with slight change of spelling, has remained constant from 1561 to 1864, as has the zucca of the Italians and the kurbs of the Germans. 

The lagenaria is but rarely cultivated in the United States, except as an ornamental plant, and as such shares a place with the small hard-shelled cucurbita which are known as fancy gourds. 

In some localities, however, under the name of sugar trough gourd, a lagenaria is grown for the use of the shell of the fruit for the purposes of a pail; and what is worthy of note, this type of the fruit does not exactly appear in the drawings of the botanists of the early period, nor in the seed catalogues of Europe at the present time. 

In the Tupi Dictionary of Father Ruiz de Montaga, 1639, among the gourd names are 
"iacvi-gourd, like a great dish or bowl," which may mean this form. 

When we examine descriptions, this gourd may be perhaps recognized in Columella's account, " Sive globosi corporis, atque utero minium quae vasta tumescit," and used for storing pitch or honey; yet a reference to his prose description rather contradicts the conjecture, and leads us to believe that he only describes the necked form, and this form only seems to have been known to Palladius. 

Pliny describes two kinds, the one climbing, the other trailing.  Walafridus Strabo, in the ninth century, seems to describe the plebeia of Pliny as a curcurbita, and the cameraria as a pepo ; the former apparently a necked form, and the latter one in which the neck has mostly disappeared, leaving an oval fruit. Albertus Magnus, in the thirteenth century, describes the cucurbita as bearing its seed "in vase magno," which implies the necked form. 

The following types are illustrated in the various herbalists which I have in my library:

I. Cucurbita oblonga, Fuchs., 1542, 370. 
Cucurbita oblonga, Fuchs.
Cucurbita plebeia. Roszlin, 1550, 115. 
Cucurbita. Trag., 1552, 824. 
Cucurbita longa. Cardanus, 1556,222. 
Cucurbita. Matth., 1558, 261; Pinaeus, 1561, 190; Cam. Epit., 1586, 292. 
Cucurbita sive zuccha, omnium maxima anguina. Lob. Obs., 1576, 366; ic, 1 591, I., 644. 
Cucurbita cameraria longa. Lugd., 1587, I., 615. 
Cucurbita anguina. Ger., 1597, 777. 
Cucurbita oblonga. Matth., 1598, 392. >>>>>>>>>>
Cucurbita longior. Dod., 1616. 
Zucca. Castor Durante, 1617, 488. 
Cucurbita anguina longa. Bodaeus, 1644, 784. 
Cucurbita longo, folio molli,flore albo. J. Bauh., 165 1, II., 214; Chabr., 1673, 129. 
Courge massue tres longue. Vilm., 1883, 190. 
Club Gourd, II. r — . Ruellius frontispiece, 1536. 
Cucurbita minor. Fuch., 1542, 369. 
Cucurbita. Trag., 1552, 824; Matth., 1558, 261 ; Cam. Epit, 1586, 292. 
Cucurbita marina. Cardan, 1556,222. 
Cucurbita lagenaria. Lob. Obs., 1576, 366; ic, 1591,1., 644; Matth., 1598, 393. 
Cucurbita cameraria. Lugd., 1587, I., 615. 
Cucurbita lagenaria sylvestris. Ger., 1597 
Cucurbita prior. Dod., 1616, 668. 
Courge pelerine. Vilm., 1883, 191. 
Bottle Gourd.
 III. Cucurbita calebasse. Tourn., 17 19, t. 36. 
Courge siphon. Vilm., 1883, 190. 
Dipper Gourd. 
IV. Cucurbita major. Fuchs., 1 542, 368. 
Cucurbita cameraria. Roszlin, 15501 H5- 
Cucurbita. Tragus, 1552, 824; Matth., 1358, 261. 
Cucurbita cameraria major. Lugd., 1587, I., 616. 
Cucurbita lagenaria. Ger., 1597,777. 
Cucurbita major sessilis. Matth., 1598, 393. 
Cucurbita lagenaria rotunda. Bodaeus, 1644, 784. 
Cucurbita latior, folio molli, flore albo. J. Bauh., 165 1, 1., 215 ; Chabr., 1673, 129. 
Sugar Trough Gourd. 
V. Cucurbita. Matth., 1558, 261 ; Lugd., 1587, I., 615. 
Courge plate de corse. Vilm., 1883, 191. 


This classification, it is to be remarked, is not intended for exact synonymy, but to represent the like types of fruit-form. Within these classes there is a wide variation in size and propor-tion. Whether these lagenaria existed in the new world before the discovery by Columbus, as great an investigator as Gray considers as worthy of examination, and quotes Oviedo for the period about 1526, as noting the long and round or banded, and of all the shapes they usually have in Spain, as much used in the West Indies and Terra Firma for carrying water, and indicates that there are varieties of spontaneous growth as well as those under cultivation. 

The occurrence, however, of the so-called fancy gourds of the Cucurbita pepo species, of hard rind, of gourd shape, and often of gourd bitterness, renders difficult the identification of species through the uses. The relation of the voyage of Amerigo Vespucci,  1489, mentions the Indians of Trinidad and of the coast of Paria as carrying about their necks small dried gourds filled with the plant they are accustomed to chew, or with a certain whitish flour; but these records might as well be made from the Cucurbita pepo gourds as from the lagenaria gourds. The further mention that each woman carried a cucurbita of water might seem to refer to gourds. 

Acosta  speaks of the Indians of Peru making floats of gourds, for swimming, and says:
"There are a thousand kinds of Calebasses; some are so deformed in their bigness that of the rind cut in the  midst and cleansed, they make as it were, baskets to put in all their meat, for their dinner; of the lesser, they make vessels to eat and drink in," etc.
 Bodaeus' quotation, in Latin, reads differently in a free translation: 
"They grow in the province of Chili to a wonderful size, and are called capallas. They are of an indefinite number of kinds; some are monstrous in their immense size, and when cut open and cleaned, furnish various vessels. Of the smaller they most ingeniously make cups and saucers." 

In 1624 Bodaeus received from the West Indies some seed which bore fruit "quae humanum crassitudinem and longitudanem superaret," which fully justifies Acosta's idea of size. The Anonymous Portugal of Brasil says : "Some pompions so big that they use them for vessels to carry water, and they hold two pecks or more." 

Baro in 1647 also speaks of  "Courges and calebasses si grandes and profondes qu'elles servent comme de magazin," and Laet  mentions "Pepones tam vastae, ut Indigenae iis utantur pro vasis quibus aquam aggerunt."



 These large-sized gourds were not, however, confined to America.  Bodaeus, as we have noted, grew fruits deformed in their bigness, to use Acosta's term, from West Indian seed, and Cardanus  says he has seen gourds (for he gives a figure which is a gourd) weighing 80 and 122 lbs.; Bauhin records the club gourd as sometimes three feet long, Ray as five or six feet long, and Forskal the bottle gourd as 18 inches in diameter. 


These records of size are all, however, of a date following the discovery of America, and the seed of these large varieties might have come from American sources, as is recorded in one case by Bodaeus. 

The gourd is of old world origin, for water-flasks of the lagenaria have been found in Egyptian tombs of the twelfth dynasty, or 2200 to 2400 years B.C., and they are described by the ancient writers. That the gourd reached America at an early period, perhaps preceding the discovery, we cannot doubt, for Marcgravius notes a cucurbit with a white flower, and of lagenarian form, in Brazil in 1648; but there is not sufficient evidence, so it seems to us, to establish its appearance in America before brought by the colonists. What the calabazas were which served for water-vessels, and were apparently of considerable size, we can at present but surmise. It is possible that there are varieties of Cucurbita pepo not yet introduced to notice that would answer the conditions. It is also less possible that gourd-shaped clay vessels might have been used, and thus recorded by not over-careful narrators as gourds. 

In 1595, Mendana, on his voyage to the Solomon Islands, saw "Spanish pumpkins" at the islands of Dominica and Santa Cruz, or according to another translation, "pumpkins of Castille." It would seem by this reference that, whether the "calabaza" of the original Spanish referred to gourds or pumpkins, it did not take many years for this noticeable class of fruits to receive a wide distribution, and it might further imply that Mendana, setting forth from the western coast of America, discriminated between the American pumpkin, or pumpkin proper, and the Spanish pumpkin or gourd.