I. PUMPKINS AND SQUASHES Squashes and pumpkins belong to the genus Cucurbita and species moschata and pepo. Whitaker and Bemis (1) reported that the genus Cucurbita is indigenous to the Americas. There is good archaeological proof that C. moschata and C. pepo were widely distributed in both North and South America. Cucurbita was generally thought to have been first domesticated in Central America or Mexico. As these two species tolerate hot conditions better than other cultivated species of Cucurbita, they are widely grown throughout the tropics of both hemispheres.