The Q&A Archives: What is Italian Squash?

Question: I purchased an Italian Squash plant thinking it would be similar to zucchini. The Italian Squash has a rounder leaf and has white flowers with runners spreading all over my garden which I am trying to contain. I was under the assumption that it was like a zucchini plant, however I have already been able to pick several zucchinis and yet to harvest any Italian Squash. If you could give me any information on this plant (what it looks like, do the white flowers turn into squash) I would appreciate it.

Answer: It's always possible your assumption was right and someone had switched a tag at the store. So while I am not familiar with any specific squash named "Italian" there are many varieties of vining summer squash and related cucurbits which would fit that description; unfortunately you won't know exactly what type you have until it makes some squash. In general, the first flowers to set on any cucurbit are male and do not form into squash, female flowers begin to form soon therafter and will set. If you have enough zucchini otherwise and the vine is taking up too much space, you might consider removing it. I'm sorry about the mix-up, but maybe the mystery squash will be good anyway!

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