Williams Naked Seeded Pumpkin
Cucurbita pepo L. var. styriaca
110 days — Although pumpkins were originally a "New World
" species, naked-seeded pumpkins have been developed over many generations in the Styrian region of Austria where they are known as Ölkürbis
or literally, oil squash. Naked-seeded pumpkins, also known as oil seed or hulless pumpkins, are characterized by having a thin membranous seed coat (testa) rather than the hard, lignified seed coat that conventional pumpkin seeds have. This makes the entire seed edible and easily pressed to extract the prized culinary oil.
Since the seeds do not have a protective seed coat, either start seeds indoors in peat pots, or wait so direct sow in the garden after the soil has warmed to 70F to 75F. The plants should be spaced from one to two feet apart in rows spaced six to eight feet apart. The vines will reach eight to ten feet in length, develop shade leaves that grow up to two-and-a-half feet across, and typically produce four to eight fruits that average twelve to fifteen pounds each but that can reach up to twenty two pounds!
To harvest seeds, allow unblemished fruit to fully ripen and then clean and dry the seeds. Seed saving requires delicate handling, as the thin, green skin is fragile to the touch. Eating the seeds raw provides the most nutritional value. Roasting adds flavors. In addition to being a healthy snack food, the oil is used in salads and drizzled on soups and pasta. Due to its low smoke point temperature, it can not be used for frying.
And you do not need to waste all of the flesh. Traditionally it is used as animal feed but it is tasty and fine enough to be used in pies, breads, and other pumpkin recipes. Each packet contains two grams, which is approximately 6 to 8 seeds.