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Cucurbita maxima
PUMPKIN-WHANGAPARAOA CROWN is a rare New Zealand heirloom pumpkin that came close to disappearing.  It has a flattened or squat shape with deep ridges and a prominent, crown-like protrusion at the top.  The skin turns a blue-grey colour, while the flesh is a dry, rich, orange-yellow solour.  It has a small seed cavity, with a sweet nutty flavour.
Often used in pies, soups, savoury dishes, and is excellent for baking.  One of its distinct features is its long shelf life.  When stored in a cool, dry place, the Whangaparaoa Crown pumpkin can last for several months without spoiling, making them a practical choice for winter storage.

Fruits can weigh 4.5 to 9 kilograms (10 and 20 pounds).  Some can even reach up to 13.6 kilograms, (30 pounds).

Sow directly in the desired growing position. Prefers good, well-drained soil. Keep moist & well watered once flowers appear & during the growing period.

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How to grow Whangaparaoa Crown Pumpkin

  1. Choose  a sunny location with well-draining soil. The ideal temperature for growing Whangaparaoa Crown pumpkin is between 18-27°C (65-80°F).
  2. Plant the seeds directly in the ground or in pots. The seeds should be planted 2-4 cm (1-1.5 inches) deep and 1.5-2 m (5-6.5 feet) apart.  If planting in pots, use a pot with a minimum diameter of 50 cm (20 inches).
  3. Water regularly and consistently, especially during hot and dry weather.  Water deeply once or twice a week, providing 2.5-5 cm (1-2 inches) of water each time.
  4. Fertilise with a balanced fertiliser or compost to provide nutrients to the plants.  Apply the fertiliser or compost once a month during the growing season.
  5. Provide support as it grows to prevent the weight of the fruit from breaking the vine.  Use trellises or other support structures to keep the pumpkin off the ground.
  6. Monitor for common pests (and diseases) like squash bugs and cucumber beetles. If you notice any signs of disease, such as powdery mildew or bacterial wilt, take action immediately.
  7. Harvest Whangaparaoa Crown pumpkin when the skin is hard and the stem is dry. Use a sharp knife to cut the pumpkin from the vine, leaving a small stem attached.

While this pumpkin variety is prized for its taste and appearance, it can be challenging to grow.  It requires warm weather and a long growing season, making it less suitable for regions with shorter summers.

Heritage of Whangaparaoa Crown Pumpkin

The Whangaparaoa Crown Pumpkin boasts a rich and storied heritage deeply rooted in New Zealand’s agricultural history.  Named after the picturesque Whangaparaoa Peninsula, where it was originally cultivated, this pumpkin variety carries with it a sense of regional pride and innovation. It has played a significant role in traditional Māori cuisine, becoming an integral ingredient in dishes like the beloved “kumara and pumpkin” combination. Beyond its culinary importance, the Whangaparaoa Crown Pumpkin has made appearances at local horticultural shows and festivals,

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Category Colour Guide
Planting Guide for Australia

Scoville Heat Units (SHU)

Plant Height (cm)

35 - 40 (13 to 15inches)

Season of Interest

Warm Seasons of Spring and Summer

Temperature Range (°C)

18-24°C (65-75°F)

Determine / Indeterminate

Annual / Perennial / Biennial


Frost Hardy / Tender

Frost Tender

Full Sun / Part Sun / Shade

Full Sun

Sow Direct / Raise Seedlings

Sow direct or Raise seedlings


Well-draining, fertile soil with plenty of organic matter is ideal


6.0 - 7.0

Soil Temperature (°C)

18°C (65°F)

Seed Preparation

Soak in warm water for a few hours before planting

Sowing Depth (mm)

2-4 cm (1-1.5 inches)

Plant Spacing (cm)

60-120 cm (2-4 feet)

Row spacing (cm)

1.5-2 metres (5-6 feet)


Regular watering is essential, especially during dry periods. Provide deep and consistent moisture to keep the soil evenly moist.

Germination Time (Days)

5-10 days

Harvest Time (Days)

75 - 120

Good Companion Plants

Corn, Beans, Marigolds, Nasturtiums, Radishes, Mint

Bad Companion Plants

Potatoes, Other Cucurbits, Sunflowers


Aphids, Cucumber Beetles, Squash Bugs


Powdery Mildew, Downy Mildew, Bacterial Wilt, Cucumber Mosaic Virus (CMV)

More About Us

ABSeeds is an Australian owned business trading under the umbrella of Direct Compost Solutions which is owned and managed by Victoria Brun.

We as a company endeavor to provide to the public, Organic, Old Fashioned, Heritage, and Open-pollinated seeds that have not been genetically modified.

We purchased the business in November 2018 and renamed it to ABSeeds (All ‘Bout Seeds) to make the title shorter and represent what we hope to achieve with this business in the years ahead.

Seeds that we can’t grow ourselves we will acquire from people who grow for us, or we may purchase seeds from reputable heritage seed companies.

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