Jefferson grew various species of Cucurbita (a genus that includes pumpkins, squash, and gourds) at Monticello and his writings are littered with references to it. In 1774 he planted "Zucche bianche" and "Zucche nere," which he described as white and black pumpkins. In his Notes on the State of Virginia, begun in 1781, Jefferson described C. pepo and C. melopepo as being "found in Virginia when first visited by the English," but surmised they were "natives of more southern climates, and handed along the continent from nation to another of the savages." Still later, in 1801, he sent seeds of "squash" (C. melopepo), and "Cymbling" (C. verrucosa) to his good friend Phillip Mazzei and stated that "if you will plant the cymbling and pumpkin near together, you will produce the perfect equivalent of squash, and I am persuaded the squash was originally so produced and that it is a hybridal plant."
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