45 days — The bush-type plants of 'Black Beauty' zucchini are early and very productive. Although you can use this summer squash at just about any size, we start picking fruit when they are about six to eight inches long by two inches in diameter and dark green in color. We prefer them at this young and tender stage when they are excellent lightly steamed, sautéed, or stir-fried. They reach a black-green to almost black at maturity.
During the "high season" of summer, unless you are checking your plants daily, the fruit size can get away from you very quickly! Medium sized to large fruit can still be cooked in the same way as noted above, but since they are maturing during "barbecue
season," we like to quarter the zucchini lengthwise, and with the skin left on, coat them in olive oil, season to taste, and then grill them until tender but firm. Often our seasoning is simply fresh ground black pepper and salt, but experiment with herbs for fun flavor variations.
'Black Beauty' was one of the most popular zucchini varieties of the second half of the twentieth-century. Bred at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station in Storrs, Connecticut, 'Black Beauty' was developed by stabilizing a cross between 'Salerno' and 'Caserta
It was introduced, and an "All-America Selection®
" winner, in 1957. Each packet contains four grams, which is approximately 24 to 28 seeds.