Best Lebanese Zucchini, Coosa, Mid Eastern Summer Squash, Kusa?

September 24, 2010

I have a friend who's had trouble with his Coosa Squash the past couple of years. His dad used to grow them with great success, but the past couple of years the yield and quality haven't been as good. One thing that has changed is the seed source. He's been using some Magda Cousa from Johnny's Seeds, and some Coosa from Pinetree Garden. His dad used to order seeds from Stokes, but we're not certain which variety he used to grow (he passed away this spring). Stokes currently offers Clarita and Ishtar, but a relative remembers him growing Ghada (or Gahda). I haven't found any current US sources for Ghada. He's inherited the responsibility for starting the 'Coosa' plants for a bunch of friends and relatives, so we're looking for the best varieties to try out next year.

They're used primarily in a Syrian recipe for stuffing when small, and need to be straight, fairly short, and cylindrical (not bulbous). He says ones that are very pale fruit are better than the pale green with mottling. We're also looking for high productivity and, if it exists, some Powdery Mildew resistance would be great (we get a lot of it around here).

I've found about a million different names for these light colored summer squash zucchinis including: Coosa, Cousa, Cusa, Cushaw, Koosa, Kousa, Kusa, Kuta, Middle Eastern, Lebanese, Egyptian, Vegetable Marrow, White Bush, Bianco di Trieste and any combination of those terms. Most hybrids seem to be described as Mid-Eastern Zucchini.

I'd really appreciate any experience anyone has had growing and using any variety of this type of squash.

Thanks for the help g-webbers!

Comments (14)

  • farmerdilla

    In order of preference:
    Profit {{gwi:114828}}






  • ferretbee

    Thanks Farmerdilla, I saw some of your postings about these varieties on another site, and your info was very helpful. Profit looks like an excellent candidate. I think Alexandria might be worth a try for us since it's supposed to have both cold and Powdery Mildew tolerance. I know it didn't produce as well for you, but we're much farther north (NE Pennsylvania), so it might do better up here, especially early and late in our season.

    The varieties Farmerdilla posted are available in larger quantities through Hollar Seeds, I haven't found anyplace that stocks Profit and Alexandria in smaller quantities yet.

    Another variety that I'm thinking about trying is Lebanese White Bush Marrow Squash from Baker Creek, the reviews look pretty good.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Lebanese White Bush Marrow Squash from Baker Creek

  • farmerdilla

    Profit is available from Twilley.

  • ferretbee


    I've obtained some Profit, Alexandria, and Ishtar hybrid seeds, and the Lebanese White Bush Marrow Squash from Baker Creek to trial this year.

    If anyone has any other suggestions, chime in, it'll be a while before it's time to start summer squash here.

  • gardenall

    I planted Magda last year and loved it! I like Mid-Eastern
    squash, its something thats a little different.

  • ferretbee

    Update: I started all 4 varieties and also some of last year's Coosa seeds from Pinetree Garden as a control. I was really surprised how small the Coosa from Pinetree are compared to all the others. The Pinetree Coosa plants are the same size as my cucumbers (started at the same time). The largest so far seems to be Profit, but not by much.

  • farmerdill

    Trying a new one this year Barq. Unique shape and is performing well.


  • janet_amityheritageroses_com

    I ordered Coosa from Pinetree this season. I didn't know there were so many kinds. From the one fruit picked so far (picked after a deer ate half of it) it looks more like the photo of Basima above - with a definite wider end than the stem end. Thank you for the great reference photos.

  • flash4444

    For many years I grew Kuta squash from seeds from Park Seed Co. About four years ago they stopped offering those seeds and I haven't been able to find them anywhere.
    Kuta has almost a almond taste -- not the green taste of most zucchini -- it is good raw with a dip, grilled, baked, and stir fried.

    They look like some of the squash pictured -- especially the Greybeard. I'll try them and maybe a couple others, but if anyone knows where I can buy the Kuta Squash seeds, please let me know.

    Dick G

  • punky215

    Don't know if anyone still follows this thread or not, but I'd like some advice on kusa. I have seeds I got in the Middle East and can't get them to sprout, even if I pre-soak them.

    Anyone else have this trouble? How did you solve it?

  • farmerdill

    No. Germination rates are the same as any summer squash. I direct seed. No problems even with 2-3 year old seed.

  • farmer74

    My experience for the first time this year is a 50% germination rate, based on 6 hills. The 3 squash produced thus far have been outstanding, very sweet. Unfortunately 3 of 3 plants have already succumbed to the vine borer, which I had understood them to be somewhat resistant to. I did not do any IPM on them, but plan to do so on the seedlings of the second planting.

  • Peter (6b SE NY)

    Alexandria has been A++ in my garden this year. My 2 plants produce all the zucchini I could possibly dream of eating, freezing, AND giving away, and it is the only cucurbit plants I have with ZERO PM. They still look awesome, 100 days after sowing. The cucumber beetles do not like them. Very much recommended.

  • Megan Dilley

    I'm coming pretty late to this party, but my husband and I have ended up with quite a lot of what we think are the barq variety, but we don't really know what to do with them. Any recipes or suggestions? There doesn't seem to be much info out there on these guys.


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