NEW BUTTERNUT PUMPKIN: Small But Very Fleshy And Glutinous

Renette Beronilla, plant breeder who developed the new butternut pumpkin, holds a whole fruit and a sliced one. The fruit is very fleshy because it has a very small cavity.

A new butternut pumpkin was recently released by East-West Seed for planting by farmers, big and small. Named Pia after Miss Universe Pia Wurzbach, it is a semi-dwarf plant that produces small but very fleshy fruits that are glutinous, a characteristic desired by most consumers.

Renette Beronilla, the plant breeder who developed Pia butternut pumpkin, said it took her five years to make the selection after combining and recombining four different germplasms from abroad and locally. For two more years, the selected plant was subjected to field trials to find out its adaptability under various environmental conditions. Pia finally came out with flying colors after two years of field trials.

Pia pumpkin can be grown by allowing the vines to crawl on the ground or made to climb a trellis. The vines will be just two to four meters long when made to crawl on the ground. It is also possible to grow the plant in a container that is provided with a trellis for the vines to climb on.

What’s nice about Pia pumpkin is that it is early maturing. In just 60 days after seeding, the fruits can be harvested. Normally, each vine can produce two to four fruits. weighing 1 to 1.5 kilos each. The fruits can be prepared as ingredient in local vegetable dishes that use pumpkin. The fruit may also be steamed and then the flesh is scooped for eating.

Close up of a halved Pia butternut pumpkin.

The fruit can also be used in local delicacies like rice cakes (puto) and “palitaw” For making puto 30 percent of the rice flour could be substituted with mashed butternut. For “palitaw” 50 percent of the rice flour could be substituted with mashed butternut, according to Beronilla.

Aside from Pia butternut, many other butternut type selections are being field-tested like this small one called Waltham.
Seeds that were brought to Agrilink 2017 for sale were all gone the second day. Meanwhile, Beronilla says that Pia butternut has become a favorite in Sri Lanka where it is prized for its glutinous characteristic that is perfect for their curry pumpkin dish. In Sri Lanka it is named Buddy.

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2 thoughts on “NEW BUTTERNUT PUMPKIN: Small But Very Fleshy And Glutinous

  1. Good evening Sir.

    May I ask were I can buy seeds of the PIA BUTTERNUT by east west?
    I was there on the 2nd day of Agri but was not yet aware of this fruit. I bought eggplants instead.

    Hope to buy some seeds.

    Thank you.

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