This is an unopened female spaghetti squash flower. When growing any kind of squash, it is important to know that the plant produces both male and female flowers.
The male flowers contain pollen, and the female flowers will develop fruit if properly pollinated. You can see the swollen base of the female flower, which is not present on the male. This is the ovary of the flower, and it will enlarge to eventually become the squash!
I usually hand-pollinate my squash and cucumbers (they also have male/female flowers). My squashes are spread out in the garden so I have found this method increases productivity. You simply transfer pollen from the male anthers to the female pistils. I usually just pick the males, peel back the petals, and sort of tap it against the insides of the female flowers.
Generally, the male flowers will begin appearing earlier than the females, but this first flower is female and alas! There aren’t any males with which to pollinate her! Squashes of the same species can cross-pollinate. So, since zucchini and spaghetti squash are both Cucurbita pepo, I could have attempted to pollinate her with a male zucchini flower. However, I don’t have any of those yet either!
Interestingly, I just watched a fancy cooking show which frequently used male squash flowers in a variety of dishes. I have never tried eating them, but apparently they are a delicacy! I feel guilty about using them for their pollen and then tossing them aside, so if anyone knows a good recipe so I can eat them instead of composting them, drop it in the comments! #YYCGardening #GrowYourOwn #SpaghettiSquash