Male and female pumpkin flowers

Since noticing what seemed to be a marrow growing on my pumpkin plant the other day, I’ve taken a keen interest in how pumpkins develop (also spurred on by what’s happening with the cucumbers).

One thing I discovered was that the pumpkin (and cucumber) has male and female flowers, so it can self-pollinate.


Male flower


Female flower

I’ve also read that it is possible to give nature a helping hand by transferring pollen from the stamen in the male flower to the ovary in the female flower. As there appeared to be quite a bit of pollen falling off the stamen on this plant, I therefore decided to give it a go. To be honest, I’m really not sure how the pollen could have transferred itself alone, considering the distance between the two flowers, although before I ever looked into these matters the pumpkins still developed!

Anyway, at least I now know something new and will hopefully have my coveted pumpkin as well, come autumn.

© Helen Butt, July 2014

About Helen

I have always been interesting in living a more environmentally friendly lifestyle and used to do what I could. Now, I have come to realise that we have reached such a point in terms of environmental degradation that it is more important - perhaps - to focus on building resilience. I therefore do as much as I can to reuse, grow my own and encourage a supportive community, for example. I also keep reading and learning all the time.
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4 Responses to Male and female pumpkin flowers

  1. Reblogged this on Linda's wildlife garden and commented:

  2. The bees usually transfer the pollen but you would have to do it manually to be sure or the undeveloped pumpkin will fall off.

    • In the past, I had no idea about flowers being male or female, so I guess I might have been lucky. Now though I understand why so many flowers fell off without producing fruit – ie the male flowers had served their purpose!

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