Pumpkin, a species of Cucurbitaceae, an annual trailing herbaceous plant. Its stem is often rooted at the node, the petiole is thick, and the leaves of the pumpkin are broadly ovate or ovoid, slightly soft, with raised veins, slightly thicker tendrils, and hermaphrodite, with strong stalks, ribs and grooves, depending on the variety. , There are often several longitudinal grooves or none on the outside. Pumpkin has many seeds, long oval or oblong.
Pumpkin originates from Mexico to Central America and is widely cultivated all over the world. Introduced to China in the Ming Dynasty, it is now widely planted throughout the north and south.
The fruit of pumpkin can be used as a delicacy, and it can also replace food. The whole plant is also used for medicinal purposes. The seeds contain pumpkin seed amino acids, which have the effects of clearing heat, dehumidifying, and repelling worms. They can control and kill schistosomiasis. The vine has the effect of clearing heat. The melon has the effect of anti-fetus and cures toothache.
Pumpkin morphological characteristics
Pumpkin is an annual trailing herb. Its stem often roots at the nodes, elongated to 2-5 meters, densely covered with white short bristles. The petiole is stout, 8-19 cm long, with short bristles. The leaf blade is broadly ovate or ovoid, slightly soft, with 5 horns or 5 lobes, blunt, 12-25 cm long, 20-30 cm wide, small side lobes, large middle lobes, triangular, densely above It is covered with yellow-white bristles and hairs, often with leukoplakia, and leaf veins are raised. The middle veins of each lobe often extend to the top and form a small pointed head. The back is lighter in color and the hair is more obvious. The edges have small and dense fine teeth and the top is slightly blunt. The tendrils of pumpkins are slightly stout, with short bristles and hairs like petioles, 3-5 bifurcated.
Pumpkins are monoecious. Male flowers are solitary, the calyx of pumpkin is tube-bell-shaped, 5-6 mm long, lobes strip-shaped, 1-1.5 cm long, pilose, and the upper part is enlarged into leaf-like; corolla yellow, bell-shaped, 8 cm long, 6 cm diameter, 5 mid-lobed, lobes recurved at the edge, wrinkled, apex acutely pointed; stamens 3, filaments glandular, 5-8 mm long, anthers close together, 15 mm long, with curved chambers. The female flowers of pumpkin are solitary. Ovary 1-loculed, style short, stigma 3, enlarged, apex 2-lobed.
The stalk of the pumpkin is thick, with ribs and grooves, 5-7 cm long, and the melon pedicle expands into a trumpet shape. The shape of the gourd fruit varies from species to variety, with several longitudinal grooves or none on the outside. Pumpkin has a large number of seeds, long ovoid or oblong, off-white, with thin edges, 10-15 mm long and 7-10 mm wide.
Pumpkin growth habit and growing environment and distribution
Pumpkin is a temperature-loving, short-day plant with strong drought tolerance and not strict requirements on the soil, but it is better to use fertile, neutral, or slightly acidic sandy loam.
Pumpkin originates from Mexico to Central America and is widely cultivated all over the world. Asia has the most cultivated area, followed by Europe and South America, and China is generally cultivated.
Pumpkin efficacy and role
The nutritional value of pumpkin
Polysaccharides: Pumpkin polysaccharide is a non-specific immune enhancer, which can improve the body's immune function, promote the production of cytokines, and exert various regulatory functions on the immune system by activating complement and other means.
Carotenoids: The abundant carotenoids in pumpkin can be converted into vitamin A with important physiological functions in the body, which has important physiological functions for the growth and differentiation of epithelial tissues, maintaining normal vision, and promoting bone development.
Pectin: The pectin in pumpkin can regulate the absorption rate of food in the stomach and slow down the absorption of sugars. Soluble cellulose can delay the emptying of food in the stomach and control the rise of blood sugar after meals. Pectin can also combine with excess cholesterol in the body to reduce cholesterol absorption and lower blood cholesterol concentration.
Mineral elements: Pumpkin is rich in cobalt, which ranks first in all kinds of vegetables. Cobalt can activate the human body's metabolism, promote hematopoietic function, and participate in the synthesis of vitamin B12 in the human body. It is an essential trace element for human pancreatic islet cells. The vitamin C contained in the pumpkin prevents nitrate from turning into carcinogen nitrous acid in the digestive tract. The mannitol contained in pumpkin reduces the harm of toxins in the feces to the human body. Pumpkin can eliminate the mutation of carcinogen nitrosamines. Has an anti-cancer effect. Pumpkin is rich in zinc, which participates in the synthesis of nucleic acid and protein in the human body. It is an inherent component of the adrenal cortex hormone and an important substance for human growth and development.
Amino acids: Pumpkin contains a variety of amino acids needed by the human body, among which lysine, leucine, isoleucine, phenylalanine, and threonine are high in content. In addition, the genotype of ascorbate oxidase in pumpkin is the same as that in tobacco, but the activity is significantly higher than that in tobacco, indicating that the content of immunologically active protein in pumpkin is higher.
Pumpkin leaves: Contain a variety of vitamins and minerals, of which the content of vitamin C is very high, which makes it have excellent heat-clearing and detoxifying effects. In summer, boiling water with pumpkin leaves can relieve heat and trouble.
The therapeutic value of pumpkin
⑴Detoxification: Pumpkin contains vitamins and pectin. Pectin has good adsorption properties, which can bind and eliminate bacterial toxins and other harmful substances in the body, such as lead, mercury, and radioactive elements in heavy metals, which can detoxify.
⑵ Protect the gastric mucosa and help digestion: The pectin contained in pumpkin can also protect the gastrointestinal mucosa from the stimulation of rough foods and promote the healing of the ulcer surface, which is suitable for patients with gastric disease. The ingredients contained in pumpkin can promote bile secretion, strengthen gastrointestinal motility, and help food digestion.
⑶ Eliminate carcinogens: Pumpkin can eliminate the mutation effect of carcinogen nitrosamines, has anti-cancer effects, and can help restore liver and kidney functions, and enhance the regeneration of liver and kidney cells.
It is best for gardeners to prepare the ground in the winter of the first year and apply foot fertilizer. The pumpkin seeds can be buried in the spring of February and March in the second year. Because the seedlings grow fast, they need to be on the fourth, fifth and sixth. Topdressing fertilizer monthly and pay attention to watering. Pumpkins are relatively extensively managed. Because the root system is developed and the leaf nodes are rooted, care must be taken to cultivate the soil to absorb nutrients. One seedling of pumpkin can have many branches and forks. In order not to disperse the nutrients too much, forks should be used. One seedling should retain 2-3 main vines. According to the soil strength and the growth of the seedlings, the top buds can be removed after several embryos. As long as the soil is fertile, pumpkins should be watered and fertilized frequently. Generally, 3-5 leaves will slip a melon. Branch buds are easy to grow in the armpits of melons, so be careful to remove them, otherwise, they will compete with melons for nutrients, which will cause the pumpkins to wither and fall.