It seems that there are pumpkins everywhere this time of year. Families are carving jack-o-lanterns, there are pumpkin-chunkin’ events, and pumpkin patches are in full swing. Since 80% of all pumpkins are harvested in October, I thought I would share some interesting facts on this fall favorite.
- Pumpkins are technically a fruit, seeds on the inside like cucumbers and melons. They are a winter squash, which are all fruit. However, they are considered a vegetable when cooking.
- Pumpkins can be grown to be giants, some weighing over 1000lbs! The average pumpkin weighs around 13lbs. According to Guinness World Records, the world record for heaviest pumpkin was set in 2016 with a pumpkin weighing in at 2,624lbs!
- Pumpkin plants feature both female and male flowers. Pollination relies mostly on bees.
- The entire pumpkin plant is edible. Yup, leaves, stem, vines, flowers, fruit are all edible.
- Pumpkins are commonly used during Halloween to carve and illuminate faces in, making them jack-o-lanterns. The tradition is believed to have originated in Ireland to celebrate the festival of Samhain warding off evil spirits.
- Pumpkins are the official state fruit of New Hampshire.
- Each pumpkin has about five hundred seeds. They take about 120 days to grow, so it’s important to plant them between May and June to have them for October harvest.
- Pumpkins are a low-calorie food; one cup of canned pumpkin has less than one hundred calories and half a gram of fat. They are 90% water, have more fiber than kale, and more potassium than a banana.
- Pumpkins come in forty-five different varieties, with colors ranging from orange, white, yellow, red, and green.
- It was not until the 17th century that pumpkins got their name, first appearing in the fairy tale Cinderella. They were originally called “gros melons” by a French explorer, then translated to English “pompions”.
I hope you have enjoyed these fun facts. Let me know with a comment below!
Schreiber, Sarah and Yaa, Bofah. Good Housekeeping. 15 Pumpkin Facts That’ll Make You Say ‘Oh My Gourd’. August 6, 2021. 15 Fun Pumpkin Facts – Weird Information & Trivia About Pumpkins (goodhousekeeping.com)
Science Kids: Fun Science & Technology for Kids. Fun Pumpkin Facts for Kids – Interesting Information about Pumpkins (sciencekids.co.nz)