Courgettes come in all sorts of shapes and colours. Here is a guide to some of our favourite courgette varieties that you can grow at home, whether you have a veg patch or just a small growing space.
Courgettes (Cucurbita pepo) come in a wide variety of shapes and colours. While the courgettes in our supermarkets are often the long, green varieties, in Mediterranean countries you can also find spherical, star-shaped and club-shaped courgettes. These unique varieties also grow well in our climate. Hopefully the following list of aromatic and high-yielding courgette varieties will inspire you to try something new this season.
Unique types of courgette
Courgettes do not always have to be the simple elongated shape we are used to. As well as spherical and club-shaped courgettes, the wide range of varieties also includes disc-shaped and star-shaped fruits known as patissons or patty pans (Cucurbita pepo convar. patissonia). This diverse group of cucurbits (Cucurbitaceae) also contains real giants, such as the vigorous marrow varieties that can weigh up to 50 kg. Here are just some of the many unique courgette varieties.
- ‘One Ball F1’: Yellow courgette variety that produces small, spherical fruits (less than 8 cm in diameter). This variety is very aromatic and perfect for stuffing due to its shape.
- ‘Tondo chiaro di Nizza’: A traditional, Italian courgette variety with round, dark speckled fruits. These round courgettes are also ideal for stuffing and baking.
- ‘Tondo di Toscana’: Heritage courgette variety from northern Italy. These light green, spherical courgettes should be harvested as young as possible, when they are at their most tender and delicious.
- ‘Gold Rush’: Not to be confused with the apple variety of the same name, ‘Gold Rush’ courgettes produce golden-yellow, elongated fruits with a delicious flavour. These fruits should be harvested as young as possible, as the plant immediately flowers and fruits again.
- ‘Lemon’: Yellow courgette variety that grows in a unique lemon shape. The handy fruits form from early summer until autumn. They are a sunny yellow in colour with light orange stripes.
- ‘Orelia F1′: A high-yielding, yellow courgette variety with elongated fruits. It can be harvested as early as June and produces an abundance of courgettes until late autumn.
- ‘Siesta F1′: A modern and visually striking hybrid variety. The ‘Siesta F1’ has yellow skin with clear white stripes. This courgette has a good flavour and high ornamental value.
- ‘Soleil’: Courgette with high yield and elongated, yellow fruits. It has a good flavour and high resistance to powdery mildew (Erysiphaceae).
- ‘Sunburst F1′: Star-shaped courgette variety with yellow skin. The fruits of this patty pan variety should be harvested as small as possible (with a diameter of less than 6 cm), as ‘Sunburst F1’ immediately produces new flowers and fruits. This very high-yielding variety is also referred to as the ‘Yellow Patisson’ or ‘Scallopini’.
White courgettes are extremely rare. They are often used as garnishes, among other things, for their attractive star shape.
- ‘Bianco di Sicilia’: Early maturing, elongated, white courgettes with an aromatic flavour. Very young fruits are light green, but later turn a creamy white.
- ‘Custard White’: A white-skinned and star-shaped patisson variety, particularly popular in the Mediterranean region. If harvested early enough (when less than 10 cm in diameter), the fruits are beautifully tender and can be prepared like any other courgette variety.
- ‘Green Tiger F1′: A vigorous hybrid variety producing lots of dark and light green striped fruits with firm flesh. The flowers of courgette ‘Green Tiger F1’ are also good for stuffing.
- ‘Lungo Fiorentino’: A popular Italian variety, this courgette is both striped and ribbed. ‘Lungo Fiorentino’ courgettes are elongated and have particularly aromatic flavour.
- ‘Patisson Jaune et Vert’: A star-shaped, extremely fertile variety with light green colour. It can be used young like other varieties. This variety can be baked in the oven as a hard, ripe fruit. When baked it will develop a light yellow colour with dark green stripes like a pumpkin.
- ‘Novodiamant F1′: Modern, high-yielding hybrid courgette variety from Italy, probably a further development of the ‘Diamant’ variety. It produces elongated, green to dark green fruits.
Which courgette varieties taste the best?
- ‘Alfresco F1’: Light green courgette variety with firm flesh and very good taste. A novelty from Italy, whose large flowers are also ideal for cooking.
- ‘Diamant F1′: Elongated, dark green fruits with good flavour. This mildew-resistant, high-yielding courgette is early ripening and is not a climber.
- ‘Dunja F1′: Dark green courgette variety with elongated fruits. This variety’s plants are resistant to powdery mildew and many viruses. They also do not form tendrils for climbing. ‘Dunja F1’ can be harvested continuously from June until autumn.
- ‘Ismalia F1′: Elongated, light green fruits with white spots. The courgette ‘Ismalia F1’ bears a rich harvest of young fruits from July onwards. ‘Ismalia F1’ is resistant to various viruses, powdery mildew and ring spot disease.
- ‘Nano Verde Di Milano’: An Italian variety from the Milan region. This variety bears particularly small and tender fruits with an elongated shape, dark green colour and excellent flavour.
- ‘Partenon F1’: This robust courgette is a good variety for beginners. It has elongated, dark green, shiny-skinned fruits with a delicious taste.
The best heritage varieties
- ‘Coucourzelle di Tripoli’: Italian variety that is now popular around the world. The ‘Coucourzelle di Tripolis’ courgettes are club-shaped with a dark green skin and light green stripes.
- ‘Nero di Milano’: A traditional Italian variety with very elongated fruits. The skin of the courgettes of ‘Nero di Milano’ is very dark green, almost black. The large flowers are perfect for cooking.
- ‘Striato d’Italia’: An Italian courgette variety with dark light green striped, elongated fruits. The large flowers of the ‘Striato d’Italia’ are also edible.
- ‘Verde D’Italia’: Traditional variety from Italy with long, green to dark green fruits. This courgette variety is very productive and tasty.
- ‘Zuboda’: Elongated, apple-green, juicy fruits with a very good taste. This variety is particularly productive and has a refreshing, cucumber-like flavour.
Container courgette varieties
Creeping courgette varieties can be cultivated in large pots on a terrace or balcony, so they are perfect for hobby gardeners with little spaces. The tendrils, which can be up to two metres long, can be attached to a trellis. Small varieties are also suitable for growing in pots.
- ‘Black Forest’: One of the few creeping varieties that climbs very well. It produces a rich harvest of dark green fruits with a good aroma. This robust variety can be harvested for a long time and is particularly suitable for growing up a trellis on a terrace, balcony or in a greenhouse.
- ‘Floridor F1′: A yellow courgette variety with round or egg-shaped fruits. These courgettes do not climb and produce numerous fruits from the end of June. The small courgette ‘Floridor F1’ is ideal for growing in pots.
- ‘Patio Star F1’: Modern, aromatic courgette variety with dark green, very thin and elongated fruits. ‘Patio Star F1’ grows very compactly and can easily be cultivated on balconies and terraces.
- ‘Satelite F1’: A climbing, very productive courgette variety with round, dark green fruits.
- ‘Shooting Star’: Yellow-skinned, high-yielding courgette variety with elongated fruits and good taste. It can be trained up a trellis, which makes it possible to grow it on a balcony or terrace.
Once you have chosen your courgette variety, read our tips on how to plant courgettes. And even after planting, there are a few points to consider to ensure an abundant courgette harvest – take a look at our article on how to care for courgettes.