Varieties of Zucchini - What's the Difference?

There are several varieties of zucchini available to the backyard vegetable gardener. Each one has it's own unique feature that distinguishes it from other varieties. It may surprise you to learn that not all zucchinis are dark green and cylindrical.

We are often asked about our favorite variety of zucchini.  We like Cocozella Di Napoli, which is an Italian heirloom zucchini.  It has good disease resistance and features pale green fruit with dark green stripes, ribbed at the stem end, wonderful flavor that is sweet and almost nutty.  In our own garden, we often have problems with squash bugs and vine borers.  We've found that Cocozella Di Napoli doesn't seem to be as bothered by these pests as some other zucchini varieties.

Here is a list of some of the more common zucchini varieties, along with fruit and plant descriptions.

Black Beauty Zucchini Variety
  • Aristocrat - this variety features a waxy skin and is medium green in color

  • Black Zucchini - very dark green skin and almost white flesh, very common variety of zucchini

  • Zucchini Gadzukes - dark green with distinctive light green ridges, resembles a star when sliced crosswise, compact plant
  • Caserta - pale green fruit that is slightly club-shaped, Italian heirloom variety, ready in 60 days, full-flavor
  • Nimba - a Polish heirloom variety, ready in 58 days, medium green squash are long and straight, good flavor
  • Table Dainty - heirloom vining variety features short, fat squash that start as pale green and ripen to a darker green as the squash grows, ready in 65 days

  • Gold Rush - A unique zucchini variety that features gold colored fruit and a classic zucchini taste, compact plant
  • Black Beauty - this variety bears very dark green fruit, very compact plants
  • Embassy - features medium green fruit, almost spineless plant, very heavy producer
  • Greyzini - early producer, ready in 47 days, tender green fruit with light green stripes
  • Sweet Gourmet - a Lebanese variety, very light, creamy green skin, tapered fruit, very compact plant and heavy producer
  • Rampicante - Italian heirloom variety, vining, can be used as both summer and winter squash, long slender fruits reach 15 inches and feature a flattened bulb at the blossom end, ready in 70 days
  • Golden - Bushy heirloom variety, features slender yellow fruit with small seeds, good flavor, ready in 60 days
  • Long White Palermo - Ready in 55 days, a Sicilian heirloom variety that's been an Italian staple for generations, produces pale green fruit that are buttery and average 12-15 inches

Zucchini Blossoms

Click here to learn about planting zucchini

Click here to learn about fertilizing and watering zucchini plants

Click here for information about zucchini plant problems

Click here to learn about harvesting zucchini

Click here for some of our favorite zucchini recipes

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