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published: 07 Apr 2006 last updated: 20 Jun 2012
The oldest remains have been found in Mexico, in the Oaxaca valley (8750 BC to AD 700) and in the caves of Ocampo, Tamaulipas (7000 to 500 BC). This species may have been domesticated at least on two occasions and in two different regions: in Mexico and in the eastern United States.
Requires a rich, well-drained moisture retentive soil and a very warm, sunny and sheltered position. Prefers a pH of 5.5 to 5.9, but tolerates up to 6.8. Plants are tolerant of light shade. A frost-tender annual plant, the pumpkin or marrow is widely cultivated in temperate and tropical zones for its edible fruit.
Cucurbita pepo is a morphologically and ecologically diverse species composed of genetically distinct groups of cultivars and free-living populations (i.e., self-sustaining, including both wild and weedy populations).