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Father'sDaughter July 12, 2017 12:50 AM

Reversed Zucchini Patterns
I've been growing the same two varieties of zucchini for several years now, Striatto D'Italia and Green Tiger. Both are bush plants, both produce similarly flavored and striped fruit, but Tiger, the hybrid, is usually a bit earlier and a bit more productive.

However, they've always shared the same frustrating habit of pumping out a ton of male flowers for weeks before a single female flower appeared!

This year I'm seeing the reverse in both, for some reason. I have female flowers on the verge of blooming, with the first male flowers just barely starting to show a little yellowing on their still tightly closed petals. For the past three days I've been picking and ripping open the most developed male flower and trying to hand pollinate a blooming female. The first "took" and I have a quickly developing baby zucchini. Still waiting to see what the other two are going to do.

I wish they would get themselves more on synch some year! And I wish I knew what caused a reversal in their flowering pattern..,

AlittleSalt July 12, 2017 01:29 AM

1 Attachment(s)
I just looked up Green Tiger. That is a cool looking Zucchini. Looks like a skinny watermelon. I don't know how to help you.

Father'sDaughter July 12, 2017 01:41 AM


Originally Posted by AlittleSalt (Post 653926)
I just looked up Green Tiger. That is a cool looking Zucchini. Looks like a skinny watermelon. I don't know how to help you.

And they can get really big as the season goes on, and can become very firm which makes it perfect for pickling and preserving in oil.

I chose it and the other becausethey are similar to the striped variety my dad has always grown, and both are bush plants instead of vining plants, so they do great in the small amount of space I leave them at the end of my tomato bed.

Where my garlic had been, I just started some seeds for Cocozelle (from Victory) which sound very similar to Striata D'Italia (from Franchi). I want to see if they are really the same with different names.

And I'll have to see what order its flowers arrive in.

HudsonValley July 12, 2017 02:13 AM

This is also happening to me, on all three varieties of summer squash I'm growing (caserta, dark green zucchini, and yellow zucchini). Last year, the males led the squash parade. Maybe it's environmental? It's definitely been wetter than usual here in the Northeast. Dunno, really. Let's hope we see synchronized squash blossoms very soon!

brownrexx July 12, 2017 09:44 AM

I also grow Green Tiger and although I never paid attention to flowering order before, this year I did pay attention and I noticed that the female flowers opened first and then the males. It was only about 3 days difference and I only lost 2 unfertilized female squash but now I am getting plenty.

I am making refrigerator zucchini pickles today.

gorbelly July 12, 2017 12:10 PM

I always thought it made a lot of sense to start with male blossoms. They're less of an investment for the plant, and it takes a while for pollinators to realize there are squash in bloom. So they work to alert/attract pollinators before the more resource-intensive female blossoms are put out.

But there are some cucurbits that put out female blossoms first. That's always a head-scratcher for me. I always thought that maybe those species have some strong incentive to seek cross-pollination.

But now I learn that they can flip according to conditions. Nature is obviously not interested in making sense to me.

Tormato July 14, 2017 04:20 PM


About 50 miles south of you and the same thing, female flowers only. The first ones opened today. I'm trialing Rugosa Friulana.

Father'sDaughter July 14, 2017 05:07 PM

The boys finally arrived to the party yesterday, so the pollinators can now take over.

Two of my hand pollinations were successful and the jury is still out on the third--no yellowing yet, but little to no growth.

brownrexx July 14, 2017 05:49 PM

A friend of mine in MD also reported first blossoms to be female this year.

HudsonValley July 14, 2017 06:45 PM

Boys are showing up on the squash here, too, and in large numbers. I think I lost 3 or 4 because I did not hand-pollinate them. One green zucchini is growing with the blossom fused to the end. Weird, but I'll eat it. The cucumbers seem to be following the normal pattern, thankfully.

gorbelly July 14, 2017 08:10 PM

I sowed late, so no blooms yet. My cucumber and melon plants are following the expected order: male blossoms first.

gorbelly July 14, 2017 08:11 PM


Originally Posted by Tormato (Post 654593)
I'm trialing Rugosa Friulana.

Growing Rugosa Friulana for the first time as well. Seed from Franchi. No flowers yet, as I sowed late. But any day now on the first plant I sowed.

HudsonValley July 14, 2017 09:29 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Caserta blossoms after heavy rainfall:

imp July 15, 2017 08:17 PM

Rugosa Friulana is really seriously good tasting.

gorbelly July 16, 2017 12:44 PM


Originally Posted by imp (Post 654842)
Rugosa Friulana is really seriously good tasting.

Good to hear! I looooove summer squash, so I'm looking forward to them.

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