Back when our zucchini plants looked like flourishing green plants, I was showing them off to one of my besties. I mentioned the male and female flowers, and she said, “What?”
Oh, yes. Most squash-type plants have gender. Some of the flowers grow with the pollen (the male) and other grow with the veggie (female).
It’s really cool. You can really see which flowers are which, because the females have a miniature version of the fruit (yes, technically, because the seeds grow on the inside).
Some types of squash will grow a million (slight exaggeration) male flowers before a single female flower matures and blooms. These are pictures of our “Peter Pan” squash plants.
The gardener(s) at our house keep a look out for the flowers in the morning when they are the best. To ensure pollination, we swirl a cotton swab in the male flower to pick up the pollen and then transfer it to the female flower. Usually, by afternoon, the flowers are already closing up.
I know that’s the bees’ job, but we can’t be sure there are enough around to take care of it. 🙁
Anyway, that’s the talk. Now you know all about where squashes come from.
One of these days, I’ll be brave enough to eat edible squash flowers. Green bean blossoms are tasty. If I do roast squash blossoms, I’ll let you know.
Have you ever eaten edible flowers? If you garden, do you help your plants with pollination?