THE Talk about Gender and Reproduction…in squash plants, that is.

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).

Diana Beebe's Blog, Diana Beebe, science fiction, middle grade fantasy, fantasy, Young AdultSome 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.

Diana Beebe's Blog, Diana Beebe, science fiction, middle grade fantasy, fantasy, Young AdultThe 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?

4 comments on… “THE Talk about Gender and Reproduction…in squash plants, that is.”

  1. I have to say, I got a kick out of the idea of you taking care of the needs of your plants. The hubs loves squash blossoms. I think I had my first at a place in New Orleans (sadly, now gone). It was pretty yum.


    • Diana Beebe


      Did you like the squash blossoms? I have yet to try…

      Hey, gotta keep the squash plants happy. 🙂

  2. I just noticed that today on our lemon cucumber vines. The different flowers, that is. I hadn’t really thought about manual pollination because I’ve got a fairly decent bee population with other bee-loving plant species in the same garden. I will certainly look at that, if I don’t get a good cucumber crop this year. I just can’t bring myself to eat the “edible” flowers. Yet. 🙂


    • Diana Beebe


      That’s so great that you see lots of bees. I’ve seen some neat little, black ones that I haven’t noticed before, but as many honey bees.

      We planted flower seeds that are supposed to attract bees and butterflies. I hope it helps.

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