Fruit/Vegetable Anomalies #5 Courgettes


Photo 1: Keeping strange company
Courgettes (aka zucchinis) are the subject of this post. Garlic, potatoes, carrots, and strawberries have featured in previous articles.

In Photo 1, we have a double (or twin) courgette. A clearer picture is shown in Photo 2 along with some fellow courgette oddities ...

Photo 2: Courgette Anomalies
I'm not sure why we get conjoined courgettes - they are not common but not rare either especially in the courgette and squash family. It could be a double ovary (most plants only have one) or a single ovary that has split. You do see this type of phenomenon (Inosculation) in trees where two trunks meld together.

The other oddity displayed in Photo 2, the formation of a snout at the flower end, is far more common among courgettes. It is said to be due to incomplete fertilization and is particularly prevalent at the beginning of the cropping season. This could be down to a general shortage of pollinators (bees and bumblebees) or just a periodic shortage due to inclement weather (cool and/or wet). If you cut open one of these oddities, you will find the 'snout' does not contain seeds whereas the 'normal' part of the courgette does.

These strange-looking vegetables are perfectly edible though I usually discard the snout as this tends to go brown (off) quite quickly.


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