Zucchini, Cucurbita pepo, is a member of the squash family, much like pumpkins or butternut. Zucchini are similar to cucumbers in appearance, but have a very different texture. They range from light green to very dark green (almost black) in color and can even have stripes.
Zucchini needs full sun (at least 6 to 8 hours) and consistently moist soil that is high in organic matter. Some zucchini varieties are vining types that require a trellis or a lot of room to sprawl. There are also bush types suitable for container gardening and small space gardening.