identify the squash

Asked July 11, 2019, 11:43 PM EDT

Someone gave me seeds saying it is for Acorn squash. I germinated and planted couple of them in my garden. They have started fruiting now and it does not look like Acorn. The fruit is about 8 inches long after approximately 10-14 days and shape is like a papaya. Yellow in color (similar to yellow summer squash color) but I am not sure when it matures what the color of the skin would be. The quash plant itself is about 3 feet long. Can you tell from the picture what type of squash it is? Thanks much.

Ingham County Michigan

3 Responses

It is hard to say as the fruit is still growing and developing, but there is a chance this is an acorn squash. After acorn squash set, they have a shape similar to this and are yellow, and will turn pale green then dark green as the season progresses.

You could always have a conversation with the person you got the seeds from. If the seed was saved from their own garden, there is a chance it is some sort of acorn squash cross. The scientific name of acorn squash Cucurbita pepo, and pumpkins, summer squash, and zucchini are also the same species. This means if the acorn squash these seeds were taken from was grown near these relatives, they could have cross pollinated, resulting in the seeds you got being a cross.

Keep an eye on it, and if it doesn't change color and start to look more acorn-y, feel free to send along another picture.

Hi there!

I waited two more weeks on the fruit to mature and see if there is any significant change. The fruit shape has not changed, the length is same (about 8-9 inches long) but the color has become dark yellow. The fruit is about a month old now since it started. So, I am wondering if I should harvest it and see how it looks when cut and how it tastes, or I should wait longer for the fruit to mature? How long an Acorn squash typically takes to mature?

Thank you!

Hello again,

It typically takes 45 days from flower for the fruit to reach maturity. So you may be roughly halfway to maturity. The darker color shift could indicate maturity. There are also golden varieties of acorn squash, if it is one of those types this could be it's final color. It may still be a cross between an acorn squash and relative. It's hard to say, there is no definitively right or wrong course of action here.