Botany Photo of the Day
In science, beauty. In beauty, science. Daily.

January 18, 2017: Botany Photo of the Day is being actively worked on. Returning soon!

Cucurbita 'Hybrid Grey Crown' and Cucurbita 'Schooltime'

Cucurbita 'Hybrid Grey Crown' and Cucurbita 'Schooltime'
Cucurbita 'Hybrid Grey Crown' and Cucurbita 'Schooltime'

Two kinds of pumpkins from the UBC Food Garden's small pumpkin patch are shown in today's photographs. Absent are at least two other cultivars in the patch, 'Atlantic Giant' and a white-fleshed variety. 'Schooltime' was on Botany Photo of the Day last year, accompanied by a large set of links about pumpkins, so that's the place to go if you're looking for further reading today. I'll add one more link to the list: photographs of pumpkin cultivars via the Pumpkin Patch.

From what I've been able to gather, 'Hybrid Grey Crown' appears to have been bred in New Zealand and is now percolating slowly into other markets in the world – perhaps a false conclusion, though, as I'm drawing my conclusion from the number of online vendors from particular countries. As is sometimes the case with vegetables, it can even be difficult to determine the name — it seems to be sold as 'Hybrid Grey Crown', 'Grey Crown' or 'Grey Ghost', with the latter name only appearing on North American sites (at least one vendor adds Hybrid Grey Crown in brackets after using 'Grey Ghost'). For a relatively recent introduction, it does seem to already have a confusing set of names. Had it been up to me, I would have chosen a name that no one would have changed – perhaps 'Vampire Pallor' or 'Zombie Flesh'.

Despite resembling the outward appearance of popular Halloween critters, 'Hybrid Grey Crown' is not very suitable for carving. It is thin-skinned, thick-fleshed and small seed-cavitied. However, its sweetness and thick flesh make it excellent for food use, as it produces both quality and quantity (via Pumpkin and Winter Squash Evaluation PDF), as well as the marketing literature).


great squash..
they reminded me of this one
and others we grew at seeds of change... seems that Japan, Australia, NZ have the blue genes going on...

Cucurbita - kew-kur-bi-ta Latin name for a gourd. Dictionary of Plant Names, Coombes

Zombie Flesh!! Excellent nomenclatural flair dude!
I just picked up my winter's squash supply from my local organic grower and had to settle for staid old Buttercup, Delicata and Sunshine. Great to celebrate a native North American food species. Great photos and thanks as always!

do you serve this goul syrup?

Any good recipes for pumpkin? Mma Ramotske in Alexander McCall Smith's books about life in Botswana often seems to dine on pumpkin, always describing it as delicious.

As a retired biochemeist who never studied Botany and never had a garden, I love this site.


Dear Elizabeth:


> do you serve this goul syrup?
> Posted by: elizabeth a airhart at October 18, 2007 09:51 AM

Dear Mary Hamilton:

I like to clean and cut into manageable chunks, steam till nearly tender, then bake the pieces with butter and either (1) onion/garlic/dill/cumin or (2) butter/cinnamon/nutmeg, in a 350 degree oven for about 40 minutes.

Also you can steam till very tender, mash, sautee onions and garlic in butter, reheat all in the steam water with more butter, and when simmering, add milk or cream for a magnificently delicious soup.

Pumpkin is good as either a savory vegetable or a dessert!

Mma Ramotswe RULES!

I sure enjoyed seeing todays' photograph. It was a good link to go to and see more pictures.
Thank you

I simply bake grey crown pumpkins whole in the oven. When they're cooked through (and caramelised on the underside), they smell wonderful.

I let them cool off a bit, until they're not going to scald me. Then I cut them open and dig out the flesh.

After running it through a food processor, I freeze about half of it in icecubes, for quick lunches.

Then I water down the pulp left over, with stock if I have any handy, and mix in some grated cheese. With toast, and sour cream if I have any, it makes a fantastic lunch of soup and toast.

I'm glad to hear that grey crown is bad for making jack o'lanterns. I'm a New Zealander, and I always wondered what I was doing wrong!

a place of mind, The University of British Columbia

UBC Botanical Garden and Centre for Plant Research
6804 SW Marine Drive, Vancouver, B.C., V6T 1Z4
Tel: 604.822.3928
Fax: 604.822.2016 Email:

Emergency Procedures | Accessibility | Contact UBC | © Copyright The University of British Columbia