Cucurbita maxima 'Big max'

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Big max
Squash Big Max.jpg
Big Max "pumpkin" at a county fair in New York
Scientific Classification
Species: Cucurbita maxima
Open pol

Big max is a large variety of squash that can exceed 45kg (100lbs) and 51cm (20in) in diameter under ideal growing conditions.[1][2] Hybrid cucurbit varieties such as Big Max are not true pumpkins, but instead "squash-type pumpkins".[3] They are often bright orange in color, with fine-grained, yellow-orange flesh. The skin, deeply ribbed and slightly roughened, can grow to be 76-100 mm (3-4in) thick, making them favorable for storage.[4] The flesh has been described as good for canning and freezing.[1] However, their size often makes utilizing them for culinary uses difficult,[5] and they lack the flavor and texture present in smaller pumpkin varieties.[6]

The variety was hybridized for its size during the early 1960s.[7] Specimens as large as 135kg (300lbs) have been grown.[8] Individual fruits are round to slightly flattened.[2]



Best planted between two and four weeks after the average last frost. Although recommendations vary, seeds are often planted at a depth of 1-3cm (0.39-1.2in), spaced 3-8 cm (1.2-3.1in) apart, in hills of between five and eight seeds. Hills are spaced 1.5-2.4m (5-8ft) apart, and thinned to two to three plants.[9] Seedlings sometimes emerge in five to ten days,[10] though germination may take up to 14 days.


The cultivar requires large amounts of room to grow properly, and to achieve the maximum size, it is recommended to limit each vine to one fruit.


Big Max pumpkins typically become ripe 110 to 120 days after sowing. They are harvested before the first light frost, when the plant's foliage dies.[11]


  1. a b Pumpkin Seed — Big Max Pumpkin. Gurney's Seed and Nursery Company. Retrieved 2009-10-07.
  2. a b Big Max Pumpkin is Monster. The Spokane Daily Chronicle. May 22, 1964. Retrieved 2009-10-07.
  3. Pumpkin. Aggie Horticulture. Retrieved 2009-010-07.
  4. Big Max Pumpkin Seed. Sustainable Seed Company. Retrieved 2009-10-07.
  5. Georgeanne Brennan, Jennifer Barry (2003). Holiday pumpkins: a collection of inspired recipes, gifts, and decorations. p10. Ten Speed Press. ISBN 1580085350.
  6. Vegetarian Times. Active Interest Media, Inc. October 1996. p. 44. ISBN 0164-8497.
  7. Earl Aronson (January 11, 1964). The Weeders Guide. The Hartford Courant. Retrieved 2009-10-07.
  8. Foreign Pumpkin is Top Squash at Great Weigh-Off. Toledo Blade. October 12, 1981. Retrieved 2009-10-07.
  9. Big Max Pumpkin. Retrieved 2009-10-07.
  10. Pumpkin: Big Max - Seeds & Bulbs. Garden Guides. Retrieved 2009-10-07.
  11. Pumpkin Big Max Organic Seeds. Botanical Interests. Retrieved 2009-10-07.
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Squash varieties
Courgette varieties Gold rush · Opal · Tondo di toscana · Zucchini
Marrow varieties
Pumpkin varieties Atlantic giant · Sugar pie
Other squash varieties Acorn (Honey bear) · Big max · Butternut · Harlequin · Kabocha · Pattypan (Yellow scallop) · Pink banana · Potimarron · Spaghetti squash · Turk's turban · Uchiki kuri