How Well Do You Know Cucurbitaceae?
November 11, 2018 5:12 AM   Subscribe

In peeling a butternut squash, I found this pattern right under the skin. This is cool - it looks a lot like the lines on delicata that show on the exterior. Are these lines related? What are they for? Why are they under the skin on butternut and show through the skin on delicata?
posted by plinth to Science & Nature (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I think that's just that it was either picked a little early or not cured (sat in the sun) for very long....probably the latter.

Source: I cook a lot of butternut squash.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 6:56 AM on November 11, 2018 [1 favorite]

I think those are just the ribs, see here for a description of how they are involved in growth of the fruit.

I’m not able to easily find (on mobile) any evidence of any special non-structural role for the ribs at present, I don’t think they are involved in vascular transport.

But yes, they’d be related as the same structure in closely related kin.
posted by SaltySalticid at 7:41 AM on November 11, 2018

Squashes also have a bad habit of crossbreeding.
posted by humboldt32 at 8:44 AM on November 11, 2018 [2 favorites]

If you're talking about the more squiggly 'veins', you might try googling for 'x-rays of fruit' (or vegetables)...they pretty much all have them. IIRC, there's also some sort of acid process you can do that will dissolve the fruit/veg, but leave that skeleton behind. They generally look like some kind of tumbleweed.
posted by sexyrobot at 9:50 AM on November 11, 2018

Best answer: Green striping is a variously prominent feature on butternut squash depending on the variety and will be more prominent on under-ripe ones as A Terrible Llama suggests.

For what it's worth butternut and delicata are different species, though obviously closely related and may still be able to successfully pollinate each other.
posted by sevenless at 10:30 AM on November 12, 2018

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