Joseph Lofthouse wrote:I keep telling myself that one of these years I want to do cotyledon tasting/selection on my cucumbers.
Joseph Lofthouse wrote:
I also tasted the lettuce. I find cucumber poison to be much more objectionable than lettuce poison. In any case, This is the third generation tasting for lettuce poison. And milky sap in lettuce leaves is a great indication that they are poisonous, so I don't have to taste the worst of the lettuce.
Joseph Lofthouse wrote:I believe that lettuce poison has medicinal properties. I am selecting my lettuce for suitability as food, not as herbal medicine.
Lydia Feltman wrote: Zucchini or Gourgette are in the genus Cucurbita and species pepo. They are insect pollinated as are all plants in the Cucurbitaceae family. Generally these plants will cross only with others in the same species. The species C. pepo includes, besides zucchini: some pumpkins, acorn, crookneck, scallop, spaghetti, and the small striped and warted gourds (the decorative gourds found in stores around Thanksgiving here in the U.S.) I'll bet the zuchinni in the story had genes from this type of "gourd", or similar, which is not edible, although I have not heard of it being poisonous.
Susan Ashworth in her book "Seed to Seed" recommends that any Cucurbits grown for seed should be 1/2 mile from any other in the same species. I have saved seeds from"Bennings Green Tint" Paddy Pans (my favorite) for many years now. Also saved one of each of the moschata and maxima species, each year different ones, but all Winter squash. Fortunately no one within 1/2 mile grew any other squash or pumpkins.
A guy I know grew what he hoped would be a giant pumpkin from home grown seed someone had given him, in a mound of composted horse manure. It was a giant all right, but not a prize winner, as it was green and elongated, probably a cross with a Hubbard, which is also C.pepo. C. pepo squash are one of the most difficult for saving seeds, because there are so many extreme differences among them.
BTW; Cucumbers are Cucumis sativus, not even in the same genus as squash, and will not cross with them.
I highly recommend Susan Ashworth's book, if you are interested in saving seeds.
William Schlegel wrote:Giant pumpkins and Hubbards are both Cucurbita maxima and thus readily hybridize.
Cucumbers come in two species Cucumis sativa and Cucumis melo the later of which readily hybridizes with melons such as canteloupe which is also Cucumis melo.
Spaghetti squash is Cucurbita pepo which readily hybridizes with gourds, summer squash like crooknecks and zucchini, and many other pumpkins and squash which are Cucurbita pepo.