Types of courgette: best heirloom & new courgette varieties

Types of courgette: best heirloom & new courgette varieties

Courgettes are easy to grow in the garden. Here you can find out about the heirloom and new varieties of courgettes.

The courgettes (also: zucchini or summer squash) sold in supermarkets usually belong to the common long and green variety. Because of that, many do not realize that this vegetable occurs in a variety of different shapes, sizes and colours. While the shelves in the most supermarkets offer predominantly the long shaped varieties, the Mediterranean markets have also round, star-shaped and club-shaped varieties. These diverse types of zucchini can also be cultivated in your own garden at home. In the following, in order to make the decision making a little easier we have summarized the best varieties of zucchini.

  • Yellow zucchinis: The yellow-fleshed varieties have more flavour than others. There are different shapes available and seeds can be bought in your local garden centre. 
  • White zucchinis: White zucchinis are mainly used for decorative purposes and are very popular because of their star shape.
  • Light and dark green zucchinis: The largest zucchinis belong to this group. In Europe, mainly green varieties are cultivated and sold. Green zucchinis are characteristic for their long tendrils and vigorous growth. 

Hobbyist gardeners with little space available will be very happy to hear that these varieties can be easily cultivated in a pot on the terrace or a balcony. The tendrils, which can be up to two metres long, should be supported with a climbing aid.

  • Alfresco (F1): light green zucchini with firm flesh and an excellent taste; a novelty cultivar from Italy; the flowers can be processed too.
  • Black Forest (F1): one of the few climbing varieties with astonishing growth abilities; dark green, small fruits with good aroma; resistant and can be harvested for a long time; especially suitable for tying up (terrace, balcony or greenhouse).
  • Custard White: white skinned and star-shaped variety; although this variety is more of a pumpkin variety, Custard White is often marketed as a zucchini. If harvested early enough (diameter <10cm), the fruits are tender and can be prepared like zucchinis.
  • Gold Rush: bears golden-yellow, elongated fruits with a fine aroma; fruits should be harvested as small as possible because the plant then immediately develops new flowers; the zucchini Gold Rush should not be confused with the apple variety of the same name.
  • Marrow: a vigorous zucchini variety with a very high nutrient requirement; the aesthetically less attractive fruits can weigh more than 50 kg and therefore regularly find their way into the media; the young fruits are the best tasting as the older ones tend to be too tough.
  • Mastil (F1): a vigorous zucchini variety with elongated dark green and light speckled fruits; high resistance to powdery mildew and mosaic virus enables a long and productive harvest.
  • Nano Verde Di Milano: an Italian variety from the area around Milan; the variety has especially small and tender fruits, which are elongated and dark green; excellent taste.
  • Nero di Milano: a traditional Italian variety with long fruits; the skin of the zucchini of Nero di Milano is very dark green, almost green-black; the large flowers can be used in the kitchen.
  • Novodiamant (F1): a modern zucchini variety from Italy; probably developed from the Diamant variety; elongated, green to dark green zucchini; abundant yields.
  • One Ball (F1): an excellent zucchini variety with gold yellow skin bearing small, round fruits (diameter <8cm); very aromatic and ideal in the kitchen. Due to its shape, One Ball is particularly suitable to be filled.
  • Orelia (F1): bears abundant harvests, yellow skinned variety with longish fruits; gorgeous fruits that are favourite of countless gardeners.
  • Partenon (F1): elongated, dark green fruits with very good taste; Partenon’s skin is very shiny; an excellent beginner friendly variety.
  • Patio Star (F1): a modern zucchini variety with dark green, very thin and elongated fruits; Patio Star grows in a compact way and can therefore be cultivated on balconies and terraces without problems; delightfully aromatic.
  • Romanesco: an Italian variety with striking light green stripes; the elongated fruits ripen quite late; the zucchini Romanesco should not be confused with the variety of cauliflower of the same name.
  • Satelite (F1): a climbing zucchini variety with round, dark green fruits; very productive.
  • Shooting Star: a yellow skinned zucchini variety with longish fruits; can be tied up to support growth; perfect for cultivation on the balcony or terrace; excellent taste and bountiful yields.  
  • Siesta (F1): a modern and visually striking variety; yellow skin with distinct white stripes; exceptional aroma; very decorative. 
  • Soleil: an abundantly yielding, yellow variety with long fruits; aromatic and resistant to powdery mildew. 
  • Striato d’Italia: an Italian zucchini variety with distinctive stripes, elongated fruits; visually very similar to the Coucourzelle variety; the large flowers are also edible. 
  • Sunburst (F1): a yellow-skinned and star-shaped variety; fruits should be as small as possible (diameter <6cm) and often harvested, as Sunburst immediately starts new inflorescences; very productive (Syn.: Yellow Patissons, Scallopini).
  • Tondo chiaro di Nizza: a traditional Italian zucchini variety with round, dark and speckled fruits. 
  • Tondo di Toscana: an heirloom variety from northern Italy; the light green, round courgettes should be harvested as early as possible, because then they are very tender and extremely tasty.
  • Verde D’Italia: a traditional variety from Italy with long, green to dark green fruits; very productive and tasty.
  • Zuboda: bears long, dark green fruits with a very good taste; exceptionally productive.

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