A pumpkin is a squash fruit that grows as a gourd from a trailing vine of certain species in the genus Cucurbita. Although native to the Western hemisphere, pumpkins are cultivated in North America, continental Europe, Australia, New Zealand, India and some other countries. Cucurbita species referred to as pumpkins include Curcurbita pepo, Cucurbita maxima, Cucurbita mixta, and Cucurbita moschata.
The pumpkin varies greatly in form, being sometimes nearly globular, but more generally oblong or ovoid in shape. The rind is smooth and varies in color between cultivars. Although orange is the most common color, some fruits are dark green, pale green, orange-yellow, white, red and gray. Large specimens acquire a weight of 40 to 80 lb (18 to 36 kg), but smaller fruits are more frequently encountered.
Although the pumpkin is botanically classified as a fruit (the ripened ovary of a flowering plant), it is widely regarded culinarily as a vegetable. Their insides are commonly eaten cooked and served in dishes such as pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, and pumpkin soup; the seeds can be roasted as a snack. Pumpkins are traditionally used to carve Jack-o'-lanterns for use in Halloween celebrations. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia