Author Topic: Breeding a perennial dryland squash  (Read 53 times)

Gilbert Fritz

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Breeding a perennial dryland squash
« on: 2018-10-27, 05:00:00 PM »
I thought I'd open a thread here about a squash breeding project as I get ready for next year.

I'm hoping to develop a perennial dryland squash from the Buffalo Gourd, Cucurbita foetidissima. Possibilities for crossing with it are C. ficifolia, C. pedatifolia, C. radicans, and C. ×scabridifolia, with the final goal being an eventual cross with C. pepo or C. moschata. Embryo rescue might be needed.

So far, not much luck. My foetidissima plants didn't flower their first year, and the ficifolia plants were dismal looking.

Any advice is welcome. I'll update this thread as I proceed. This is probably the breeding project I'm most interested in right now.

Joseph Lofthouse

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Re: Breeding a perennial dryland squash
« Reply #1 on: 2018-10-27, 09:41:07 PM »

I grow C ficifolia. It seems to be day-length sensitive, so the plants grow huge, and don't flower until just before my fall frosts arrive. Just before is good enough. So this year, I only saved seeds from the first fruits to form. I don't know how susceptible the day-length genes are to selection pressure, but I figure that I aughta at least try. I have successfully grown two generations now. Next year will be the third generation, which often turns out to the the magical generation where projects seem to thrive.

I am growing C ficifolia in the same field as other common squash, and with the interspecies hybrids. I haven't yet seen any obvious hybrids, but I keep watching for them.