User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 28044
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Squash/Pumpkin and Watermelon blossom - is this female?

I'm used to squash blossoms like this closed up hopefully pollinated female:
image.jpg
...what about this one with an odd squarish structure. Is this female too?
image.jpg
I think this is Uncle David's Dakota Dessert Squash (a buttercup variety C. maxima) or maybe Bush Delicata (C. pepo) -- sorry I'm getting the pictures mixed up and am no longer sure which vine it was)
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

User avatar
Lindsaylew82
Mod
Posts: 2116
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 1:26 am
Location: Upstate, SC

Re: Squash blossom - is this female?

Hmmm. That's strange! Idk!

The fruits at the base of females are usually fuzzy. Even pumpkins, and winter squash. It doesn't look too fuzzy.

It's definitely a tough call! They look so boxy! That ones very young, too.
My first inclination is male. Stout big strong male! Haha! But the fruit is boxy on that Dakota.
I think in a day or so, you'll know either way.
Lindsay
Upstate, SC
USDA Zone 7b/ Sunset Zone 31

User avatar
Lindsaylew82
Mod
Posts: 2116
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 1:26 am
Location: Upstate, SC

Re: Squash blossom - is this female?

I changed my mind. I think it's a girl.
Lindsay
Upstate, SC
USDA Zone 7b/ Sunset Zone 31

GEOSAN
Full Member
Posts: 45
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2012 3:40 pm
Location: nepa z5a

Re: Squash blossom - is this female?

the buttercup babies that I had , before the SWB got them, were kinda box shaped, unlike the yellows and zukes.
George

User avatar
JC's Garden
Senior Member
Posts: 280
Joined: Tue May 13, 2014 2:43 am
Location: Moultrie, GA Planting Zone 8, Sunset Zone 31

Re: Squash blossom - is this female?

I admit I don't know a lot about squash plants but I thought the males always came well before the females. Is that a long stem under it?

imafan26
Mod
Posts: 11432
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:32 pm
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Squash blossom - is this female?

I'm glad I don't have too many vine borers. Just fruit flies.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

User avatar
Lindsaylew82
Mod
Posts: 2116
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 1:26 am
Location: Upstate, SC

Re: Squash blossom - is this female?

males always came well before the females.
I usually get both. I have some females on my butter stick squash that are more mature than any of the male flowers. I have only male flowers on my Cinderella pumpkins though. I'm thinking about using those to pollinate my females. But then again, I could just pick them unpollinated and stuff them :()
Lindsay
Upstate, SC
USDA Zone 7b/ Sunset Zone 31

User avatar
jal_ut
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 7480
Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2009 3:20 am
Location: Northern Utah Zone 5

Re: Squash blossom - is this female?

Males are often on long stems and sit well above the canopy, where the females are on shorter stems and usually down under the canopy. Also the females have a nice ovary, that develops into the fruit later on. You don't see this on the males.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 28044
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: Squash blossom - is this female?

Right. It's looking like it *is* female -- the closed flower petal has shriveled and was getting mushy on the still green boxy structure so I pulled it off -- it looks like it was pollinated. I can't wait to see what the final fruit looks like.

It's one of the plants that didn't make it inside the protective tunnel though. So I'll have to keep a close eye on it for any sign of SVB's and squash bugs.
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

User avatar
jal_ut
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 7480
Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2009 3:20 am
Location: Northern Utah Zone 5

Re: Squash blossom - is this female?

Our severe cold winters are good for something I guess. I have never seen a squash vine borer. We do get the occasional squash bug, but seldom in any numbers to do much damage. The freezing ground seems to kill any eggs or pupae and the bugs have to move in from elsewhere and most years don't make it here. Since we are in a mountain valley, they have to come over a mountain to get here.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 28044
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: Squash blossom - is this female?

I'm growing winter squash that are supposed to be SVB resistant in a separate area. Hopefully by next year, I can be as carefree about growing them. :wink:

Your observation that males are higher above the canopy while females are closer to the ground under the canopy has been wonderfully helpful in quickly glancing in the tunnel for male and female blossoms. Today, I spotted the first female that looks like will open tomorrow almost immediately. :()
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

User avatar
Lindsaylew82
Mod
Posts: 2116
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 1:26 am
Location: Upstate, SC

Re: Squash blossom - is this female?

I've never known squash flowers of either gender to rise above the canopy. Here they stay close to the base, and they are pretty easy to distinguish.
Lindsay
Upstate, SC
USDA Zone 7b/ Sunset Zone 31

6sparkpug6
Cool Member
Posts: 62
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 9:30 pm
Location: Zone 6b

Re: Squash blossom - is this female?

Not my picture, but I know pattypan has a female that looks like a mini pattypan--not a circular base.

Image

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 28044
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: Squash blossom - is this female?

I think all the different shapes are so intriguing. :D. I posted some pictures of different varieties of female blossoms that I think set fruit after hand pollinating. At least the pictured ones are getting bigger.

As for male vs. female, so far, whether they are above the canopy or not, the males definitely have long slender stems and females have thicker shorter stems. 8)
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 28044
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: Squash and watermelon blossom - is this female?

I was having trouble finding female watermelon blossoms. Then. I thought about jal_ut's comment and looked to see if watermelon females also had short thick flower stalk.

...well no... Watermelon females, I discovered, have fancy curved pedestals that they perch on. The males all have boring straight stalks. :D
image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

imafan26
Mod
Posts: 11432
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:32 pm
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Squash/Pumpkin and Watermelon blossom - is this female?

I have to look at my squash again. I know the males had straight stems, but now I gotta see if the female stems have curves.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

User avatar
applestar
Mod
Posts: 28044
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: Squash/Pumpkin and Watermelon blossom - is this female?

Those curved ones are watermelons. So far as I have seen, the squash have the thicker angular stems I can see developing into the "handle" (that you are NOT supposed to pick up by) of pumpkins and squash. The male squash blossoms have nice long slender stems perfect for preparing into pollinating wands.
Attachments
image.jpg
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

6sparkpug6
Cool Member
Posts: 62
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 9:30 pm
Location: Zone 6b

Re: Squash/Pumpkin and Watermelon blossom - is this female?

Hmm apple- I have some watermelons and the female is developing close to the stem, like a pumpkin would do. It could be the variety... I usually just look for some kind of bump- one that doesn't occur that often, as females are less frequent than males! :) Just did a pumpkin yesterday, fingers crossed it took!

Return to “Vegetable Gardening Forum”