Zucchini Facts

Zucchini Facts
Zucchini, also known as courgette is a type of summer squash that belongs to the pumpkin family. Summer squash is part of human diet starting from 5.500 years BC. It originates from Central and South America. Summer squash was introduced to Europe in the 16th century. Type of summer squash known as zucchini was created during the 19th century in Italy. Zucchini grows in warm, dry climate, on well-drained, moist soil. It represents one of the most popular and most commonly consumed vegetable today. China is the greatest manufacturer of squashes in the world.
Interesting Zucchini Facts:
Zucchini is bushy plant. It has light green, prickly stem that can reach 2.93 feet in height.
Zucchini develops large, lobed, green leaves covered with silver-gray blotches on the surface.
Zucchini blooms early in the summer. It produces individual male and female flowers on the same plant (monoecious). Male flowers are slightly smaller. They grow from the axils of leaves. Female flowers develop on top of the branches. Flowers are yellow colored and they attract bees, responsible for the pollination.
Fruit of zucchini is sausage-shaped pepo (berry with thick skin on the surface). Color of the fruit varies from light to dark green, depending on the cultivar. Flesh is creamy white, juicy, soft and filled with numerous tiny, edible seed. Largest ever recorded zucchini had 69.5 inches in length and 65 pounds of weight.
Hybrid known as golden zucchini produces yellow or orange-colored fruit.
Zucchini is usually harvested 8 weeks after fertilization of the female flowers, when it reaches the length of 8 inches. Fruit needs to be harvested before it reaches full maturity, while it is still tender on the outside and filled with soft, edible seed on the inside.
Zucchini is an excellent source of dietary fibers, vitamins A, C and B9 (folate) and minerals such as manganese and potassium. Zucchini contains 93% of water and only 23 calories.
Dark-colored zucchini contains the greatest amount of nutrients. Small and medium-sized zucchini have better flavor than large varieties.
Compound called cucurbitacin accumulates in the fruit when plant grows exposed to high temperature in areas that do not provide enough water and nutrients in the soil. As a result, fruit has bitter taste.
Zucchini can be consumed raw, but they are usually thermally processed before consumption. They can be used for the preparation of salads, casseroles and breads.
Both male and female zucchini flowers are edible. They can be fried, stuffed and baked.
Zucchini are also used in the cosmetic industry for the manufacture of various soaps.
Word "zucchini" originates from Italian word "zucca" which means "squash".
Nutrients from the zucchini have potential to prevent development of cancer and cardiovascular disorders.
Zucchini is an annual plant which means that it completes its life cycle in one year.

Related Links:
Plants Facts
Animals Facts