I didn't turn my compost pile this spring, and had an unexpected surprise that's been growing for the last few weeks. Can anyone identify what it is? I'm almost 100% sure it's some type of squash, but I don't know enough to tell what variety it is. From what I can remember, I've put waste from zucchini, acorn, spaghetti, and butternut squashes in the compost pile.

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There's also another smaller plant which looks very similar, but the leaves are a different shape.

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Full size pictures here.

1 Answer 1


Based on what I've seen, and confirmed a bit by a couple of quick searches, the photos on top with the deeply indented leaves look like melon.

The one on the bottom looks like a cucumber, though maybe it could be a squash.

As a side note, zucchini, acorn, and spaghetti squashes are all C. pepo and could have crossed last year. If you have volunteers from any crosses and let them mature, you may end up with odd-looking fruit.

For what it's worth, last year I planted a half dozen hills of pumpkin & winter squash; they gave me maybe three semi-decent fruits. I didn't pull the volunteers that popped up out of the compost pile and they gave me at least 20 gorgeous pumpkins.

  • 1
    The fruit won't be mutants, but they may not be recognizable... But they could still be tasty. Jun 12, 2012 at 5:28
  • Yeah, we've had pumpkini (pumpkin/zucchini) growing in our compost pile. Jun 13, 2012 at 22:29
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    Well, unfortunately we'll never know if your identification was correct. Something (most likely rabbits) got to both plants and chewed/gnawed them to death. Good thing I have my actual garden fenced!
    – Doresoom
    Jul 3, 2012 at 14:49

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