Difference Between Gourds and Pumpkins

One such vegetable confusion is the gourd and pumpkin perplexity. Although they belong to the same family- Cucurbitaceae and are often considered as brothers, they differ a lot fundamentally. 


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Gourds vs Pumpkins  

The difference between gourds and pumpkins is that gourds contemplate of several sub-categories including squashes, melons, etc., and is often considered as ornamental fruit whereas pumpkins usually are considered as ornamental as well as edible. Often pumpkins are also incorporated into gourds but they carry their own differences and are unique in themselves.   

Gourds vs Pumpkins

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Gourds are generally decorative and ornamental while sometimes they are also used as musical instruments, tools, objects, articles, etc. Miniature pumpkins are also included in the gourd sub-category.  

Pumpkins are usually yellow to orange in color and are grown during the winter season. They are typically hard-shelled, and contain pulp, and are mostly edible. Pumpkins usually carry a strong flavor.   

Comparison Table

Parameters of Comparison    Gourds    Pumpkins  
Origin    South Africa  North America  
Shell-Type  Mostly Hard Shell (Dried out)  Mostly Thick Shell (With seeds and pulp)  
Period of Discovery  13000 BCE  7000 to 5500 BCE    
Edible    Mostly not    Yes 
Nature of the Stem Weak and Fragile  Rigid and Stiff 
Shape    Varying- Long, Cylindrical, Curved, etc.  Mostly Round (Like Snowflakes)  

What are Gourds?  

As mentioned above gourds belong to the family and genus of Cucurbitaceae peculiarly Cucurbita and Lagenaria. Cucurbita originates from North America.

But now gourds are omnipresent, every culture uses gourds in one or the other form as they have enormous uses, some use them as musical instruments, some as drums, decorative articles, tools, while some use them as ornaments.   

Gourds are majorly used as containers and vessels at home. Gourds are not edible, excluding some immature gourds which are eaten like other melons and squashes.   

So as a solution to this problem, scientists of India are trying to create a hybrid by crossbreeding several breeds of gourds so as to reduce their unappetizing taste and also enhance their nutritional benefit.   

Nowadays, dried gourds are extensively used to make kitchen tools like cups, vessels, ladles, bottles, scoops and even birdhouses. Thus, every segment of gourd is useful in a technical and mechanical way and they make a good ornamental/ ornate fruit. 

What are Pumpkins? 

Pumpkins although included in the same family as gourds, are often considered as a sub-category of gourds, squashes, and fruits. Pumpkin literally translates to large melon or winter squash.

 It is generally grown in the winter season and is quite popular during the Halloween and Thanksgiving periods. Pumpkins are edible when ripe and can be baked, steamed, cooked, and are often used as filling in the Thanksgiving pie.   

Pumpkins are also included in various diets as they are low in calories and help in weight loss. Pumpkins also bear enormous amounts of omega content that strengthen our immunity.  

Pumpkin derived its color from the carotenoid pigments thus providing vitamin A when consumed. China is the largest pumpkin producer to date, but pumpkins are majorly consumed in The United States.  

Almost every fragment of the pumpkin is useful in one or another way. The category and types of pumpkins are vast including jack-o’-lanterns, Big Max, Prizewinner Pumpkin, and so on.    

Main Differences Between Gourds and Pumpkins  

  1. Pumpkins are considered to be older in discovery than gourds.  
  2. Gourds are popular worldwide, while pumpkins are majorly popular in the United States.  
Difference Between Gourds and Pumpkins
  1. https://pharmacologyonline.silae.it/files/newsletter/2009/vol1/028.Aman.pdf 
  2. https://www.taylorfrancis.com/chapters/edit/10.1201/9781482269871-12/pumpkins-squashes-gourds-desai-musmade 
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