Cucurbita pepo (seed)

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Cucurbita pepo L.   Cucurbitaceae  
Standardized common name (English): pumpkin

Botanical Voucher Specimen


Cucurbita pepo subsp. texana Tropicos 100135770.jpg
Source: MOBOT,[1]

Organoleptic Characteristics

[Cucurbita Pepo is] slightly odorous when contused; taste bland

and oily.
Source: United States Dispensatory (1918) [2]

Macroscopic Characteristics

Cucurbita Pepo, or common pumpkin, is a plant almost too well known to need description. The seeds are broadly elliptical or ovate, from 15 to 23 mm. in length and from 2 to 3 mm. in thickness; externally yellowish-white, very smooth, occasionally with thin, transparent fragments of adhering pulp and with a shallow groove parallel to and within 1 mm. of the margin; fracture short, seed-coat consisting of a white coriaceous outer layer and a membranous inner layer occasionally of a dark green color; embryo whitish, straight, with a small conical hypocotyl and two plano-convex cotyledons.

Source: United States Dispensatory (1918) [3]

Microscopic Characteristics

Under the microscope, sections of [Cucurbita Pepo] show an outer epidermal layer consisting of palisade-like cells, the radial walls attaining a length of 1 mm., the outer walls being usually torn off so that it appears as though the seeds were covered with very long hairs; a sub-epidermal layer consisting- of from 5 to 12 rows of cells with slightly thickened, lignified and porous walls; a layer of strongly lignified stone cells, elliptical in outline and about 0.075 mm. in length; a single layer of small cells resembling those of the sub-epidermal layer; several rows of parenchyma cells with characteristic reticulate markings and separated from each other by large intercellular spaces; several layers of parenchyma cells, the inner layer being more or less collapsed and bounded on the inside by a single epidermal layer, the cells having rather thick walls; the perisperm cells are usually more or less collapsed and the endosperm consists of a single layer of cells filled with small aleurone grains; the cotyledons consist of thin-walled, isodiametric, elongated or palisade-like cells containing a fixed oil and numerous small aleurone grains.

Source: United States Dispensatory (1918) [4]

High Performance Thin Layer Chromatographic Identification

AP-LOGO-Laboratories Crop - Copy.jpg
Cucurbita pepo HPTLC ID - Vanillin Sulfuric Acid Reagent Visible Light

Pumpkin (seed) (Cucurbita pepo)

Lane Assignments Lanes, from left to right (Track, Volume, Sample):

  1. 3 μL Cucurbita pepo-1 (seed)
  2. 3 μL Cucurbita pepo-2 (seed no shells)
  3. 3 μL Cucurbita pepo-3 (seed no shells)
  4. 3 μL Cucurbita pepo-4 (seed)
  5. 3 μL Cucurbita pepo-4 (seed)
  6. 3 μL Cucurbita pepo-5 (seed no shells)
  7. 3 μL Cucurbita pepo-6 (seed with shells)
  8. 2 μL Cucurbita pepo-7 (seed)

Reference materials used here have been authenticated by macroscopic, microscopic &/or TLC studies according to the reference source cited below held at Alkemists Laboratories, Costa Mesa, CA. 

Stationary Phase Silica gel 60, F254, 10 x 10 cm HPTLC plates 

Mobile Phase chloroform: ethanol [9.5/0.5] 

Sample Preparation Method 0.3 g + 3 ml CH3OH sonicated + heated @ 50° C ~ 1 hr. 

Detection Method Vanillin/H2SO4 Reagent -> 110° C 5 min -> visible light 

Reference see British Herbal Pharmacopoeia, 1996

Source: Elan M. Sudberg, Alkemist Laboratories [5]

Supplementary Information


  1. MOBOT,
  2. United States Dispensatory (1918)
  3. United States Dispensatory (1918)
  4. United States Dispensatory (1918)
  5. Elan M. Sudberg, Alkemist Laboratories
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