Friday, October 30, 2015

Wikipedia article of the day for October 31, 2015

The Wikipedia article of the day for October 31, 2015 is Cucurbita.
Cucurbita (Latin for gourd) is a genus of vines in the gourd family, native to the Andes and Mesoamerica. Five species are grown worldwide, variously known as squash, pumpkin, or gourd depending on species, variety, and local parlance. The fruits have played a role in human culture for at least 2,000 years. First cultivated in the Americas before being brought to Europe by returning explorers, the plants remain an important food source. Most Cucurbita species are herbaceous vines that grow several meters in length and have tendrils, but bush cultivars of C. pepo and C. maxima have also been developed. Many North and Central American species are visited by honey bees, as well as specialist bees that pollinate only a single species. Most of the domesticated species can be considered winter squash, since the full-grown fruits can be stored for months. Their extracts have many uses, including in cosmetics for dry and sensitive skin. The fruits are also good sources of vitamins and minerals in foods such as pumpkin pie, biscuits, bread, desserts, puddings, beverages, and soups.

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