What Is a White Pumpkin?

white pumpkin patch

The Spruce / K. Dave  

Orange is so yesterday. White pumpkins, once a novelty, are becoming increasingly common in pumpkin patches, and these intriguing white orbs are all the rage when it comes to chic autumn decorating. Maybe it's the ghostly way they stand out on a dark night, or perhaps it's the clean smoothness of their appearance, which sparks creativity. Whatever the draw is, white pumpkins are ideal for growing, displaying, carving, and eating.

What Is a White Pumpkin?

A white pumpkin is a pumpkin variety that has been selectively bred to feature white or ivory skin. The varieties widely range in size and shape. White pumpkins are also known as an albino pumpkin, ghost pumpkin, Snowball, Casper, Lumina, Baby Boo, and Cotton Candy Pumpkin.

white pumpkins
The Spruce / K. Dave 
white pumpkin seeds
The Spruce / K. Dave 
edible pumpkin flesh
The Spruce / K. Dave  

Growing White Pumpkins

These albinos have been bred by both pumpkin enthusiasts and scientists. For example, Brent Loy, a University of New Hampshire professor, successfully bred a white pumpkin named Moonshine, which features a sturdier stem than other types of pumpkins.

Purchase seeds for specific varieties of white pumpkins, such as Lumina, Cotton Candy, Hooligan, Full Moon, Polar Bear, or miniature Baby Boo, at local garden stores or online. Direct Gardening, for example, has Lumina PVP white pumpkin seeds available for online ordering. You can also find seeds for varieties of giant white pumpkins, such as the Polar Bear variety, online; however, these pale pumpkins aren't setting the sort of records their ton-plus orange cousins have achieved. The current giant pumpkin record in the U.S. is 2,294.5 pounds, quite a bit bigger than Full Moon variety white pumpkin seeds that can produce pumpkins weighing up to 90 pounds.

White pumpkins must be planted after the risk of frost has passed, and they take about 90 days to grow (check seed packets for additional specifics). Once white pumpkins mature on the vine, they should be picked promptly to avoid discoloration.

Uses for a White Pumpkin

White pumpkins are awesome for carving because the skin is not quite as thick as an orange pumpkin's. They are even better for painting, whether you stencil a design or transform them to match your decor by painting them any solid color of your choice.

White pumpkins provide great contrast in fall gourd and pumpkin displays at your home or business. They're elegant unadorned as a table centerpiece, and monogrammed white pumpkins can be used as fall wedding decorations. However, don't be afraid to think outside the Halloween box. A white pumpkin tied with a red velvet ribbon and positioned atop evergreen boughs would make a lovely holiday season decoration. Like many gourds, white pumpkins stored properly can last through the winter months.

Cooking and Eating White Pumpkin

The flesh inside a white pumpkin is edible, and it can be substituted for orange pumpkin in many recipes, whether you're baking white pumpkin pie or concocting a pumpkin soup. The satiny texture and sweet pumpkin taste of the Lumina variety is excellent for baking. Try using a hollowed-out white pumpkin as an attractive serving tureen.

A white pumpkin's seeds can also be eaten after toasting them in the oven or in a skillet. Additionally, just like typical orange pumpkin, you can bake, scoop, puree, and then freeze white pumpkin.