Cucurbitaceae Juss.
  • Gen. Pl. 393–394. 1789. (4 Aug 1789)
  • Cucumber Family


Cite taxon page as 'WFO (2020): Cucurbitaceae Juss. Published on the Internet;http://www.worldfloraonline.org/taxon/wfo-7000000160. Accessed on: 21 Feb 2020'

General Information

Plants usually vines, sometimes shrublike in Cucurbita, or perennial [annual] herbs (Melothria), usually monoecious or dioecious, rarely andromonoecious (Cucumis). Stems prostrate, procumbent, sprawling, trailing, or climbing; tendrils usually present, unbranched or branched. Leaves simple (also compound in Cyclanthera, Momordica), alternate, estipulate, petiolate (sessile or subsessile in Sicyos); blade unlobed or palmately, pedately, or pinnately lobed. Inflorescences paniculate, racemose, umbellate to subumbellate, fasciculate, corymbose, or solitary flowers. Flowers unisexual [bisexual]; sepals (4–)5(–6), sometimes vestigial (Cyclanthera), connate, calyx rotate, campanulate, saucer-shaped, or tubular, adnate to corolla, producing hypanthium; petals 5(–6), distinct or connate, imbricate or induplicate-valvate, usually yellow, orange, or white, sometimes green, margins entire, rarely fimbriate, corolla rotate, cupulate, campanulate, salverform, or funnelform; stamens (2–)3–5, with 4 mostly connate in pairs, appearing as only (1–)3 stamens; anthers connate or distinct, pepos, rarely capsules, elongate to globose, exocarp usually hard, sometimes fleshy and berrylike, glabrous or hairy, smooth or bristly, echinate, aculeate, muricate, tuberculate, or furrowed, indehiscent or dehiscent. Seeds mostly compressed, sometimes winged, arillate in Coccinia, Ibervillea, Momordica, and Tumamoca, exalbuminous; embryos straight.

  • Provided by: [C].Flora of North America @ efloras.org
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    Herbs, annual or perennial, or weak, woody shrubs with watery sap, scandent or prostrate. Roots fibrous or tuberous. Stem often angular. Leaves alternate, undivided or variously palmately or pedately divided, often cordate; tendrils solitary, lateral, simple or branched, spirally twisted, rarely absent; stipules absent. Plants monoecious or dioecious; flowers unisexual, very rarely bisexual; flowers paniculate, racemose, or subumbellate, rarely solitary. Calyx tube (hypanthium) adnate to ovary; tube rotate, campanulate, or saucer-shaped, usually 5-lobed; segments imbricate. Corolla usually sympetalous, inserted on calyx tube; segments valvate or involute. Stamens inserted at base or mouth of calyx tube, usually 5 or 3, of which one often 1-celled and other two 2-celled; filaments separate or variously united into a column; anthers separate or coherent into a head; anther cells straight to conduplicate, extrorse; rudimentary ovary often present in male flowers; staminodes often in female flowers. Ovary inferior or nearly completely so, mostly composed of 3 carpels, 3-locular, rarely 1- or 2- or spuriously 4-6-locular; ovules usually numerous, rarely few or solitary, horizontal, pendulous, or ascending, often immersed in pulp; placentas parietal, fleshy, often confluent at middle of ovary; style terminal, simple or branched at apex or styles free; stigma enlarged or 2-fid. Fruit usually a fleshy berry or corky, indehiscent or rarely opening by valves or by an operculum, rarely fibrous. Seeds often numerous, rarely few or solitary, horizontal, pendulous, or ascending, often compressed, rarely winged; endosperm absent; embryo with leaflike cotyledons and short radicle.

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    Morphology

    Male flower: calyx tubular, lobes imbricate or open; corolla polypetalous or gamopetalous, lobes imbricate or induplicate-valvate; stamens free or variously united, mostly 3, rarely 1–5, one anther always 1-celled, the others 2-celled, cells straight or often curved, flexuous or conduplicate, connective often produced

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    Flowers monoecious or dioecious, very rarely hermaphrodite, actinomorphic

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    Seeds various, often flattened, without endosperm

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    Female flower: calyx-tube adnate to the ovary and often produced beyond it; staminodes usually not present; ovary inferior or very rarely free; placentas often 3, parietal but often meeting in the middle; ovules numerous, rarely few, arranged towards the walls of the ovary; style simple or rarely 3 free styles; stigmas thick

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    Herbs or rarely undershrubs with watery juice, often scabrid; stems scandent or prostrate; tendrils mostly present, spirally coiled

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    Seeds 1-many, rather large, often compressed, sometimes winged; embryo large; endosperm absent

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    Fruit a dry or fleshy capsule, berry or hard-shelled pepo, variously dehiscent or indehiscent, rarely a 1-seeded samara

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    Staminodes often present in female flowers

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    Stamens basically 5, androecium always variously modified, commonly appearing as 2 double stamens and 1 single stamen, free or variously coherent or united; antherthecae often convoluted

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    Ovules anatropous, 1-many, horizontal, pendulous or ascending; style 1, with 2 or usually 3 stigma-lobes, or styles 3

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    Ovary inferior, unilocular or sometimes 3-locular, of usually 3 united carpels; placenta-tion parietal, rarely axillary, placentae often intrusive

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    Tendrils lateral to the petiole base, simple, distally 2-fid or proximally 2–7-fid, rarely reduced to spines or absent, usually 1 at each node

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    Flowers unisexual, epigynous, monoecious or dioecious, axillary, variously arranged, the female commonly solitary. Glandular bract-like structures (probracts) sometimes present at base of peduncles

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    Receptacle-tube shallow to tubular, usually 5-lobed, lobes usually small

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    Petals usually 5, free or variously united, corolla mostly regular

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    Scandent or prostrate tendriliferous annual or perennial herbs or less often woody lianes, rarely erect herbs without tendrils, often with tuberous rootstock

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    Leaves alternate, palmately veined, simple or pedately compound

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    Receptacle-tube very shallow to elongated-tubular; lobes (3–)5

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    Petals (3–)5, free or united into a regular or slightly to rarely strongly zygomorphic corolla

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    Seeds large, commonly compressed, sometimes winged; embryo large; endosperm absent

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    Fruit a dry or fleshy capsule, berry or hard-shelled pepo, indehiscent or dehiscent by valves, an operculum, slits or apical pores or irregularly, or rarely samaroid, smooth or variously ornamented, 1–many-seeded, sometimes very large

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    Ovary usually inferior, generally 1-locular, composed of (2–)3(–5) united carpels or rarely of 1 carpel only; placentation parietal or rarely axillary, sometimes apical, basal or apical and basal, sometimes obscured by the often large placentas; ovules anatropous, 1–many, horizontal, pendulous, or ascending; style 1, with usually 3 bilobed stigmas or stigma-lobes, or styles (2–)3, each with 1 bilobed stigma

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    Stamens basically 5, alternate with the petals, inserted on the receptacle-tube or on the basal disk, but always modified in one or more ways, giving the following conditions: stamens 5, equidistant or in 2 pairs with 1 single; stamens 4; stamens 3, 2 double and 1 single, free or with the anthers ± united, or with the filaments united into a central column and the anthers free or united; or stamens 2, 1 triple, 1 double; thecae straight, hooked, arcuate, duplicate, triplicate or triplicate and contorted, sometimes the filaments united and the thecae horizontal, forming a central equilateral triangle, split ring or continuous ring; staminodes often present in ? flowers

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    Leaves alternate, simple and palmately veined or pedately compound with 3–25 leaflets, when simple usually very variable, petiolate

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    Woody or herbaceous mostly with climbing or trailing stems bearing tendrils and often arising from a tuberous rootstock, rarely without tendrils

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    Probracts (usually small, often glandular, foliar structures) sometimes present at the base of the peduncles

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    Tendrils lateral, stipular in position, usually one at each node, either simple or proximally 2–7-fid and spiralling only above the point of branching, or apically bifid and spiralling above and below the point of branching, rarely reduced to spines or absent

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    Flowers usually unisexual, monoecious or dioecious, axillary, variously arranged, but ? more commonly solitary than ?

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    Literature

    SELECTED REFERENCES Bates, D. M., R. W. Robinson, and C. Jeffrey, eds. 1990. Biology and Utilization of the Cucurbitaceae. Ithaca, N.Y. Heiser, C. B. 1979. The Gourd Book. Norman. Jeffrey, C. 1962. Notes on Cucurbitaceae, including a proposed new classification of the family. Kew Bull. 15: 337–371. Jeffrey, C. 1971. Further notes on Cucurbitaceae: II. Kew Bull. 25: 191–236. Jeffrey, C. 1975. Further notes on Cucurbitaceae: IV. Some New World taxa. Kew Bull. 33: 347–380. Jeffrey, C. 1980b. A review of the Cucurbitaceae. Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 81: 233–247. Jeffrey, C. 1990. An outline classification of the Cucurbitaceae. In: D. M. Bates et al., eds. 1990. Biology and Utilization of the Cucurbitaceae. Ithaca, N.Y. Pp. 449–463. Jeffrey, C. 2001. Cucurbitaceae. In: P. Hanelt, ed. 2001. Mansfeld’s Encyclopedia of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops.... 6 vols. Berlin and New York. Vol. 3, pp. 1510–1557. Jeffrey, C. 2005. A new system of Cucurbitaceae. Bot. Zhurn. (Moscow & Leningrad) 90: 332–335. Jeffrey, C. and W. J. J. O. De Wilde. 2006. A review of the subtribe Thladianthinae (Cucurbitaceae). Bot. Zhurn. (Moscow & Leningrad) 91: 766–776. Kocyan, A. et al. 2007. A multi-locus chloroplast phylogeny for the Cucurbitaceae and its implications for character evolution and classification. Molec. Phylogen. Evol. 44: 553–577. Lira, R., J. L. Villaseñor, and P. D. Davila. 1997. A cladistic analysis of the subtribe Sicyinae (Cucurbitaceae). Syst. Bot. 22: 415–425. Nayar, N. M. and T. A. More, eds. 1998. Cucurbits. Enfield, N. H. Robinson, R. W. and D. S. Decker. 1997. Cucurbits. New York. Nesom, G. L. 2011c. Toward consistency of taxonomic rank in wild/domesticated Cucurbitaceae. Phytoneuron 2011-13: 1-33. Nesom, G. L. 2012f. Terms for surface vestiture and relief of Cucurbitaceae fruits. Phytoneuron 2012-108: 1–4. Schaefer, H., C. Heibl, and S. S. Renner. 2008. Gourds afloat: A dated phylogeny reveals an Asian origin of the gourd family (Cucurbitaceae) and numerous oversea dispersal events. Proc. Roy. Soc. Biol. Sci. B, 276: 843–851. Schaefer, H. and S. S. Renner. 2011. Cucurbitaceae. In: K. Kubitzki et al., eds. 1990+. The Families and Genera of Vascular Plants. 10+ vols. Berlin etc. Vol. 10, pp. 112–174. Schaefer, H. and S. S. Renner. 2011b. Phylogenetic relationships in the order Cucurbitales and a new classification of the gourd family (Cucurbitaceae). Taxon 60: 122–138. Singh, D. and A. S. R. Dathan. 1998. Morphology and embryology. In: N. M. Nayar and T. A. More, eds. 1998. Cucurbits. Enfield, N.H. Pp. 67–84. Stocking, K. M. 1955. Some considerations of the genera Echinocystis and Echinopepon in the United States and northern Mexico. Madroño 13: 84–100. Teppner, H. 2004. Notes on Lagenaria and Cucurbita (Cucurbitaceae)––Review and new contributions. Phyton (Horn) 44: 245–308.

  • Provided by: [C].Flora of North America @ efloras.org
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    Included Genus

    Other Local Names

    NameLanguageCountry
    Cucumber Family

     Information From

    Flora Of CHina @ efloras.org
    http://www.efloras.org/flora_page.aspx?flora_id=2
    'Flora of China @ eFloras (2008). Published on the Internet http://www.efloras.org/flora_page.aspx?flora_id=2 [accessed August 2016]' Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
    • A Missouri Botanical Garden
    Plants Of the World Online Portal - FTEA
    https://www.kew.org/science/who-we-are-and-what-we-do/strategic-outputs-2020/plants-of-the-world-online
    http://www.plantsoftheworldonline.org/terms-and-conditions
    • B
    Flora of North America @ efloras.org
    http://www.efloras.org/flora_page.aspx?flora_id=1
    'Flora of North America @ eFloras (2008). Published on the Internet http://www.efloras.org/flora_page.aspx?flora_id=1 [accessed August 2016]' Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
    • C Flora of North America Association
    Plants Of the World Online Portal - FZ
    https://www.kew.org/science/who-we-are-and-what-we-do/strategic-outputs-2020/plants-of-the-world-online
    http://www.plantsoftheworldonline.org/terms-and-conditions
    • D
    Plants Of the World Online Portal - FWTA
    https://www.kew.org/science/who-we-are-and-what-we-do/strategic-outputs-2020/plants-of-the-world-online
    http://www.plantsoftheworldonline.org/terms-and-conditions
    • E The Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
    Cucurbitaceae
    World Flora Online Data. 2017.
    • F CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0).
    World Flora Online consortium
    http://www.worldfloraonline.org/organisation/WFO
    World Flora Online Data. 2018.
    • G CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0).