Serpent of Sicily (Cuccuza Edible Gourd)
A beloved heirloom from Sicily and the south of Italy, this is a gourd that's used like a summer squash. The basis of many traditional dishes, and a cultural icon for Sicilian and Neopolitan communities all over the world. (Check out Louis Prima's hit song from 1959, "My Cuccuza." to see what I mean.) The vines are vigorous and healthy, and are a great alternative to zucchini in areas where pests make squash growing difficult. Also a boon to seed savers who want to avoid crossing between squashes. Pick the long narrow fruit when quite small, and keep them picked to keep them coming. The vigorous vines may be pinched back to keep them more compact and make even more food. The lovely big white flowers are pollinated by moths at night. These are wonderful on arches and other garden architecture, growing up to 20 feet in a season with many flowers.