Cucurbifa pepo
Family: Cucurbitaceae
Common Name: Courgette

Zucchini or courgette has become a popular vegetable some parts of the world only over the past few decades but it has long been used by the French and Italians in such dishes as rata­touille and baked Mediterranean vegetables. It also makes a delicate accompaniment to meats, when steamed and tossed in a little butter. Zucchini may be dark green, pale green or yellow, and are best picked when about 10 cm (4 in) long.


Zucchini is a bushy annual and many cultivars have been produced by plant breeders. The fruits generally come in various shades of green, but there are also yellow cultivars which, unpeeled, add attractive colour to meals.


Grow this vegetable in full sun. The soil must drain well and should contain plenty of organic matter. Sow seeds in spring once the soil has warmed up. It is often best to sow three seeds in one place, and to select the strongest plant and discard the others once growth is active. In frost-prone climates, sow under glass in mid-spring, one seed per pot, and plant out when danger of frost is over. Space plants 90 cm (36 in) apart each way. Apply an all-purpose plant food once the plants are in active growth. Give ample water during the growing season. Check fruiting plants daily and harvest the fruits as soon as they are a suitable size. In warm weather, fruits can develop rapidly.


Zone 10, but grown as a summer annual in all climates.

Zinnia      Zygopetalum