Looking for a unique addition to your pumpkin patch, front porch or dinner table? Nowadays you are more likely to encounter unique pumpkin varieties that until recently were impossible to find unless found at a farmer’s market or your own veggie patch. From the slate-gray jarrahdale heirloom from Australia and New Zealand, to the warty peanut variety, many of today’s pumpkins are works of art even without being carved. And, most of these distinctive pumpkins are good for eating as well as good looking. So, before you pick up yet another round, orange orb, consider some of these fantastic heirloom pumpkin varieties:
Flat White Boer – a flat pumpkin with a creamy, white rind and thick, orange flesh. Flat white grows wider than tall and adds a distinctive look to any fall displayed. The sweet-tasting orange flesh is perfect in pies and for baking. This pumpkin keeps well and should last throughout the fall season.
Crunchkin - the hard shell version of the popular Munchkin, Crunchkin is flat-shaped with prominent ribs and a medium-orange color and slight flecking. Its hard shell gives it extended storage ability, making it a perfect choice for incorporating into tablescapes, fall floral arrangements, and outdoor displays.
One Too Many – the pumpkin that looks like a bloodshot eyeball, hence the name ‘one too many’. This 20 pound, round to oblong pumpkin has a white background accented with midribs and stippled veins of red. A truly distinctive ornamental pumpkin that has great decorative potential.
Jarradale – a medium to large (12-18 pounds), drum-shaped variety with heavy, rounded ribs and a distinctive slate-gray skin. The fine-textured flesh is golden-orange and sweet. Stunning in fall displays and great for eating too.
Peanut - a lightly ribbed, almost round pumpkin with a rich peach colored skin and a unique, bumpy covering that resembles peanut shells. The bumps are formed by sugars in the flesh, so, the more peanuts, the tastier the flesh is. Its flavorful, sweet-orange flesh lends good flavor to baked goods, soups and stews. Peanut pumpkins weigh about 10 to 20 pounds and make a real statement when added to fall displays.
Polar Bear – an extra-large, white pumpkin, lightly ribbed weighing 44 to 55 pounds with yellow-orange flesh. Great for carving, since their skin is not quite as thick as an orange pumpkin's. White pumpkins provide great contrast in fall gourd and pumpkin displays and its ghost-white exterior make it the perfect choice for Halloween.