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Squash - Mramornaja

Squash - Mramornaja

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Cucurbita maxima
90-100 Days
Germination: 100% 12/23

Large winter squash with a blocky oblate shape, averaging about 20lbs. Thick green skin with lighter coloured stripes emanating from the blossom end at the bottom of the fruit, and occasional orange flecks here and there. The skin colour lightens to a golden orange-yellow as the fruits age. The flesh is dense and dry, with a substantial sweetness in the neigbourhood of an American yam. The plants are quite large, with individual vines growing up to 15 feet long. 

Some of my favourite seed companies obtain and trial material that is maintained by gene banks in order to bring back old and forgotten varieties that have disappeared from the seed trade, or to find "new" material for breeding projects. I've always thought that was pretty cool, so in 2023 I obtained samples of all the maxima and moschata squash listed by PGRC to use in my ongoing winter squash trials. They only had two varieties of each species, so I tried them all, and hand-pollinated each growout to ensure purity. Mramornaja did great, but many of my pollination tags either disintegrated or got chewed off by critters, so the useable seed harvest was less than expected. Supply is limited this year!  

So far I haven't been able to find any specific info about this variety, but the search continues. If any of you eastern European folks out there are familar with it please get in touch! Mramornaja means "marble", which could be a reference to the colouring of the fruits. There is also a Mramornaja Cave in Crimea, which probably has nothing to do with the squash but I'd like to think that might possibly point to Ukrainian origins, even though the gene bank lists it as a Russian variety. 

Note: sometimes the English version of words that use the Cyrillic alphabet use a "j" to indicate a "y" sound - the correct pronunciation of Mramornaja (Мраморная) is "Mramornaya". 

Our original stockseed was obtained from Plant Gene Resources Canada, accession CN 35865. It was donated in 1979 by the Vavilov Institute in St. Petersburg, Russia. 

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