The Pinnacle gem squash first appeared on the South African variety list in 2014, and it continues to produce outstanding results.
Pinnacle was quickly recognised by growers as an exceptionally high and consistent yielder. It has become the market-leading variety and is the standard against which other varieties are compared. The strong yields are the result of combining a compact growth habit with disease resistance.
The compact growth habit of Pinnacle has shorter internodes than other varieties, which gives more fruit per length of vine. This effect can be seen in the picture below, where a segment of Pinnacle vine is bearing four fruits where a similar length of standard vine carries only two. This compact growth habit also means that closer spacings can be used. This increases the number of plants per unit area, and thus yields.
This compact growth habit also allows access between rows for longer, leading to more efficient operations and less damage to plants. In the picture below, rows of Pinnacle can be seen on the left, while a full vine type on the right has completely covered the field surface.
Pinnacle’s disease resistance package is unique in a gem squash variety. It has intermediate resistance to both powdery mildew (PM) and zucchini yellow mosaic virus. Although some PM symptoms may be seen on the leaves at late stages, these are rarely seen on petioles or vines. Similarly, some virus symptoms may appear under conditions conducive to spread, but these are usually at late stages and their effect on yield is minimal.
With its high yield potential and ability to perform well under a range of conditions, Pinnacle is set to be a fixture in gem squash production for years to come.