Origin: Naples, Italy
Improvement status: Cultivar
Seeds per packet: ~20
Germination tested 12/2022: 83%
Life cycle: Annual
Originally known as Cocozella di Napoli, Cocozelle is a classic Italian heirloom zucchini from 1800s Naples. It resembles the better-known 'Costata Romanesco' variety, with its distinctive striped ribbing, but Cocozelle is more tender and just as well-flavored, its less-defined ribbing giving it something of a smoothed-out quality. It retains characteristics of "baby" zucchini in terms of taste and texture until much larger than other varieties. The plant has a bush habit, so it takes up a fraction of garden space compared to the vining squash we offer. This variety also boasts well-sized flowers, great for stuffing, frying, or adding a spash of yellow-orange color to your favorite soup, pasta, or risotto. Harvest young squash before they get too big for maximum production.
Photo credit: By nociveglia, downloaded under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.