mystery squash

Hi, everyone – – I’m wondering if I could get some help identifying this type of squash. I grew it in my garden, and the plant seedling was marked as a pattypan squash, which it’s obviously not! The flesh inside is green, and I had to scoop out the innards and seeds before cooking it. The skin seems to be quite thick, like a butternut. I removed it before cooking as well. The flesh is firmer than a zucchini. I included the Sharpie for size comparison.

Thank you!!

More examples

  • 1
    Are you willing to cut one in half and add it to the photo? Then we can see what color the insides are, what kind of seeds it has, etc.? Also, put the subject of your photo in the light, not in a shadow and it will be easier to see it.
    – The Photon
    Jun 26, 2019 at 22:21
  • Done! I sliced it as well as included a photo after I cut it up. Jun 26, 2019 at 23:10

1 Answer 1


My best guess based on your photo is that it's kabocha (aka Japanese pumpkin)

enter image description here

(image source).

But squashes also hybridize pretty easily, so far as I know, so it could be a random hybrid rather than an established variety. Possibly one derived from kabocha or acorn squash.

If you grew this from seed saved from last year's garden squash, it could be that your squashes were hybrids that can't be grown from their own seeds.

Now I noticed you said the flesh is green. That makes kabocha less likely. Maybe a hybrid of kabocha and zucchini, that happened to get the skin and shape of the kabocha and the flesh of the zucchini?


I've researched further and learned that kabocha is a variety of the cucurbita maxima while zucchini is a variety of cucurbita pepo, two different species, and therefore these two could not hybridize.

However, C. pepo does include both summer and winter squash varieties, so it would be possible to get a hybrid of the two if both parents were varieties of C. pepo. C. pepo includes acorn squash and (some) pumpkins among winter squash varieties, and pattypans, zucchini, crooknecks and many other summer squash varieties.

C. maxima includes kabocha, hubbard squash, and many others. I'm not familiar enough with other maxima varieties to say if there are varieties that are likely parents of your example.

  • 1
    I actually bought these as seedlings in the local nursery, and its neighbors in the bed are zucchini, so maybe I ended up with a pattypan zucchini hybrid? The leaf shape on these particular plants is different than the zucchini, though. There aren’t any kabocha in the area that I know of... unless the pollinator brought it in from where it had just been! Jun 26, 2019 at 23:30
  • @KatherineBoster They would only hybridize if you replant the seeds. That is when you would notice the crossing, would be next generation. Corn we see the effect on this generation because we consume the seeds rather than a fruit/vegetable. Which variety is hard to be certain though ThePhoton's guess is a good one, but from the description and picture it is most likely some variety of winter squash/pumpkin. Those typically would need to grown all or most of the year and not really be ripe until fall. Hard skin and needing inner seed cavity are tell-tales.
    – dlb
    Jun 27, 2019 at 15:44
  • PS, likely had a tag moved or misplaced at the nursery.
    – dlb
    Jun 27, 2019 at 15:48
  • 1
    @dlb, From the new photos, I wonder if it's a summer squash crossed with a winter squash. It has the hard skin of a winter squash, but the seed cavity is nearly filled and somewhat fleshy, somewhat like a summer squash. Green flesh also is more common in summer squash than winter squash, AFAIK.
    – The Photon
    Jun 27, 2019 at 15:56
  • 2
    @ThePhoton That looks fairly normal for a pumpkin type to me, especially one that is not yet ripe. The stringy semi flesh tends to reduce with more maturity.
    – dlb
    Jun 27, 2019 at 23:44

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