|Cucurbita (Latin for gourd) is a genus of herbaceous vine in the gourd family, Cucurbitaceae, also known as cucurbits, native to the Andes and Mesoamerica. Five species are grown worldwide for their edible fruit, variously known as squash, pumpkin, or gourd depending on species, variety, and local parlance,[a] and for their seeds. First cultivated in the Americas before being brought to Europe by returning explorers after their discovery of the New World, plants in the genus Cucurbita are important sources of human food and oil. Other kinds of gourd, also called bottle-gourds, are native to Africa and belong to the genus Lagenaria, which is in the same family and subfamily as Cucurbita but in a different tribe.
Seeds with maximum germination potential develop (in C. moschata) by 45 days after anthesis, and seed weight reaches its maximum 70 days after anthesis. Some varieties of C. pepo germinate best with eight hours of sunlight daily and a planting depth of 1.2 centimeters (0.47 in). Seeds planted deeper than 12.5 centimeters (4.9 in) are not likely to germinate. In C. foetidissima, a weedy species, plants younger than 19 days old are not able to sprout from the roots after removing the shoots. In a seed batch with 90 percent germination rate, over 90 percent of the plants had sprouted after 29 days from planting. (Source: Wikipedia)