Is Pumpkin a Fruit or a Vegetable?

Author: Christian Moore
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Botanically speaking, pumpkin is a fruit.  Under tariff regulations many countries classify pumkin as a vegetable. 

More Info: To confuse matters more, in 1893 the supreme court ruled on the question ‘what is the difference between a fruit and a vegetable'. The court ruled that plants that are consumed as part of the main course shall be considered a vegetable, whereas plants consumed as appetizers, desserts, or out of hand shall be considered fruits. Pumpkin is served as both a dessert and used widely in casseroles and soups.

Pumpkin Classification

Pumpkins belong to the gourd family, genus Cucurbita of the family Cucurbitaceae. To further break it down, pumpkins are classified in the division Magnoliophyta , class Magnoliopsida, order Violales, family Cucurbitaceae.

Pumpkins are native to North America and were enjoyed as a food staple by early settlers arriving in America.

Edible Plant Parts and Classifications

Depending on the plant there are several different parts of a plant that are edible and commonly consumed including the roots, stem, fruit, leaves, and seeds.  Examples are:

Bulbs: chives, onion, shallot, and garlic

Roots: beets, carrot, potatoes, radish, and turnip

Stem: celery, asparagus, fennel, kohlrabi, and broccoli

Fruit: tomatoes, pumpkin, and squash

Leaves: lettuce, turnip, parsley

Flower: broccoli, cauliflower

Seeds: corn, snap beans, okra, peas


Works Cited

Murray, Michael T., Joseph E. Pizzorno, and Lara Pizzorno
The Condensed Encyclopedia of Healing Foods
New York: Pocket Books, 2006. Print.

Aggie Horticulture
Secondary Edible Parts of Vegetables
Pumpkin Facts, Information, Pictures

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"Is Pumpkin a Fruit or a Vegetable?." Sophisticated Edge. N.p., n.d. Web. . <>.  

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