Amazing Pumpkin Facts

100_2746Pumpkins are a plant with an interesting history.  Originally cultivated in the Americas, they are now enjoyed throughout the world both for their festive appearance and also as a food source.
 Here are some amazing pumpkin facts:
  • Belong to the Cucurbitaceae plant family.  This family includes squashes, melons, and gourds.
  • The word pumpkin is derived from the Greek word pepon meaning “large melon”.
  • Pumpkins are monoecious, meaning they have both male and female flowers on the same plant.
  • Honeybees are essential for the pollination of pumpkins.  The pumpkin industry and the honey industry work closely together.
  • Pumpkin flowers have an extremely short lifespan, only blooming for one day.
  • Their color is derived from orange pigments. The main nutrients include lutein and both alpha and beta carotene.
  • Pumpkins are 90% water.
  • 1.5 billion pounds of pumpkin are grown in the United States each year!
  • Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio are the top three pumpkin producing states.
  • The current world record for giant pumpkins was set in 2010 and it weighed in at 1,810.5 lbs!
  • Fatty acids found in pumpkin seed oil help maintain healthy blood vessels.
  • 1 gram of pumpkin seeds has as much tryptophan as a full glass of milk. (Tryptophan is an essential amino acid.)
  • Chemicals extracted from pumpkins are currently being tested for their ability to regenerate damaged pancreatic tissue.  This may actually lead to a cure for some forms of diabetes.
  • The current distance record for a pumpkin fired from an air cannon is 4,483 feet!