Pumpkin Facts

I♥Halloween > Pumpkin Carving > Pumpkin Facts

Photo by Se hui(shirley) Kim, via Free Images

Photo by Se hui(shirley) Kim, via Free Images

Now that Halloween is around the corner, you can impress your friends and coworkers with the following list of facts about the beloved pumpkin!

Did You Know?

  • All pumpkins are a variety of winter squash
  • Pumpkin pie and commercial pumpkin pie filling is made from a different kind of winter squash than the kind of pumpkins commonly used to carve Jack-o’-Lanterns
  • Originally, Irish and Scottish people celebrating Samhain (the forerunner of Halloween) made Jack-o’-Lanterns from turnips or beets
  • The Headless Horseman in the Washington Irving story ‘The Legend of Sleepy Hollow’ doesn’t actually carry around a Jack-o’-Lantern under his arm in lieu of his head, and that this image was added later by an illustrator who never read the book
  • Pumpkins come in the traditional orange color, as well as white and yellow varieties
  • Millions of pumpkins are grown for animal feed
  • The United States along produces 680,000 tons of pumpkins every year
  • Canned pumpkin is used to treat dogs and cats suffering from digestive ailments
  • In Australia and Britain, the word “pumpkin” can refer to any kind of squash
  • The sport of pumpkin chunking involves building a machine to hurl a pumpkin as far as possible
  • You can eat all parts of the pumpkin, including the shell, seeds, leaves, and flowers
  • Pumpkin juice is a popular drink of the students in the Harry Potter series of books
  • Pumpkins are cooked and eaten with butter, sugar and local spices in India
  • Pumpkin pie is popular not just in the United States, but also in Canada
  • The official Latin name of a pumpkin is Curcubita Pepo
  • Pumpkins get their orange color from beta carotene
  • The origin of the word pumpkin is the Greek word pepon (πέπων), which means “large melon”
  • Starbucks first launched pumpkin spice latte in 2003
  • Pumpkin leaves are used for a variety of soups in China
  • Eating pumpkin seeds is a popular snack in Mexico, Europe, and China
  • Pumpkins and all squashes are native plants of North America
  • Early American colonists used to call pumpkins “pumpions”
  • Pumpkin seed oil is used for cooking in Central and Eastern Europe
  • Pumpkins are grown on every continent except Antarctica
  • The traditional pumpkin used for Jack-O’-Lanterns is the Connecticut Field variety
  • Pumpkin enthusiasts have cultivated a special kind of pumpkin, called Curcurbita maxima, just to win botanical prizes for the largest pumpkins ever grown
  • Pumpkins are a rich source of Vitamin A
  • Pumpkins are 2% protein
  • The top pumpkin producing state in America is Illinois
  • The word “pompom” in English is derived from the French word for pumpkin, meaning something round and large
  • 95% of all pumpkins grown to make pies and pie filling come from Illinois
  • The brand Libby’s is the most popular in America, and is a subsidiary of the Swiss multinational company Nestle
  • Pumpkins rely on bees to fertilize their flowers via cross pollination
  • Some individual pumpkins have been measured at over 2,000 pounds

Pumpkin Varieties

  • Sugar – Most often used for baking
  • Mini – Makes for great decoration
  • Gourds – Many varieties of this, used for decorations
  • Jack O’ Lantern – most common for carving
  • White Lumina – unusual, medium-sized white pumpkin
Photo by Crystal Leigh Shearin, via Free Images

Photo by Crystal Leigh Shearin, via Free Images