Organism of the day #3
#education #halloween
Happy Halloween!

NAME:
Pumpkin

SCIENTIFIC NAME:
Cucurbita pepo

KINGDOM:
Plantae

SIZE AND PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION:
These round fruits tend to be very large, weighing 4-8 kilograms (9-18 lbs) or more usually. The color of the fruits are typically yellow to orange with variations based on the type of gourd. The orange rind often looks like the interior of an orange, being ribbed. The stem at the top of the pumpkin is typically hard and wood and displaced at an angle at the top of the plant. The fruits mature in autumn, hence their appearance in American holidays like Thanksgiving or the more international Halloween.

FUN FACT:
The pumpkin variety of C. maxima can achieve up to 34 kg (75 lbs) in weight. The most massive pumpkin ever recorded being grown breached 907 kg (1 ton) in weight.

RANGE (NATIVE):
The native pumpkins can be found growing in the southern United States, being found in Georgia, North and South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, California, each Virginia, Missouri, Kentucky, Michigan, Tennessee, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, Vermont, and most notably Kansas. Specimens of the pumpkin can be recorded in virtually every inch of the state in Kansas. It’s good to note that the pumpkin has been introduced into large eastern cities of Canada and native populations also exist in Mexico and other Central American countries

HISTORY OF THE JACK-O’-LANTERN:
Not just a florescent fungus, the Jack O’ Lantern has been a staple of Halloween for centuries. In Europe, old stories told the tale of an individual named Stingy Jack. Stingy Jack, according to the tale, invited the Devil to drink with him. And, as his name implies, Jack was disgusted at the idea of paying for himself and the Devil. Jack convinced the Devil to change his form to resemble that of a coin, which Jack then kept in his pocket next to a silver cross that would prevent the lord of evil from turning back into his previous form. Jack freed the Devil under the condition that the Devil shall not bother Jack for a year and shall not claim his soul upon his death. The next year, Jack convinced the devil to climb up a tree and while in the branches of the tree, Jack carved a cross into the trunk, preventing Satan from descending. Jack let him come down under the same conditions as last year. Before the next year came around, Jack had died but God would not allow Jack into heaven for his stinginess. The Devil, keeping his word, would not allow Jack to go to Hell. Jack was banished to an eternal limbo of darkness, nothing to light his way but a lump of coal, which Jack put into a hollow turnip and became known as “Jack of the Lantern”

SOURCES:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cucurbita_pepo
https://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?taxonid=279566&isprofile=0&
https://www.britannica.com/plant/pumpkin
http://www.hsgpurchasing.com/Articles/pumpkin.htm
https://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=CUPE

IMAGE:
A pumpkin thats had a frightening face carved into it for a festive Jack O’ Lantern on Halloween