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Family: Cucurbitaceae

Kingdom: Plantae Rank: Family Parent: Violales Status: Valid

Common Names:

  • SQUASH - English, United States of America
  • GOURD - English, United States of America
  • CUCUMBER FAMILY - English, United States of America

Morphological Description

Family Recognition in the Field: Herbaceous vines with tendrils and alternate, palmately-veined, usually lobed or compound, often conspicuous leaves; flowers usually yellow to white, unisexual; ovary inferior.

Diagnosis: Herbaceous annual or perennial vines; monoecious or dioecious; stems with tendrils, trailing or climbing; leaves usually palmately lobed or compound; flowers unisexual, radially symmetrical; corollas 5-lobed, yellow to greenish yellow, yellow-orange, or white; stamens 3 or 5, free or variously united; ovary inferior, usually 3-carpellate; fruit in ours a berry (sometimes with a firm rind and then called a pepo).


Notes: A medium-sized family (775 species in 119 genera) of mainly tropical and warm area (few temperate) vines containing numerous economically important food plants including SQUASHES, PUMPKINS, AND MELONS (see following treatments); the fruits and/or flowers of a number of species are edible; other species provide ornamental and useful gourds. (subclass Dilleniidae)