Cucurbitaceae


Cucurbitaceae

▪ plant family
 the gourd family of flowering plants, belonging to the order Cucurbitales and containing 118 genera and 845 species of food and ornamental plants. It includes the gourds, melons, squashes, and pumpkins.

      Most species are prostrate or climb by tendrils. They are annual or perennial herbs native to temperate and tropical areas. No member of the family tolerates frost or cold soil. Most species are extremely sensitive to temperatures near freezing, a factor that limits their geographic distribution and area of cultivation. The family includes such economically important food plants as pumpkin, cucumber, gherkin, watermelon, muskmelon, summer squash, winter squash, chayote, cassabanana, squash, and gourd. Cucurbits have a generally low nutrient content; one exception is the winter squash (certain cultivars of Cucurbita maxima, C. moschata, C. pepo, etc.).

      Members of the family are fast-growing, with long-stalked, palmate leaves that alternate along the stem. Most species have unisexual flowers, which are borne in the leaf axils and have five white or yellow petals. At the side of the leafstalk in annual species there is a simple, often branched, spirally coiled tendril. It is generally regarded by most botanists to be a modified shoot. There are five sepals in each flower; male flowers have up to five anthers, often fused or joined in a complex way, and female flowers usually have three carpels. The fruit in most species is a fleshy, many-seeded berry with a tough rind, often attaining considerable size. The seeds are flattened and sometimes have beautiful wings.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Cucurbitaceae — Cucurbitacées …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Cucurbitaceae — Hodgsonia male plant Scientific classification Kingdom: P …   Wikipedia

  • Cucurbitaceae — n. a natural family of plants including the cucumber; melon; squash; and pumpkin. Syn: family {Cucurbitaceae}, gourd family. [WordNet 1.5] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Cucurbitaceae — Cucurbitaceae, kürbisartige Gewächse, große, vorzugsweise in den warmen Klimaten einheimische Familie von krautartigen Pflanzen mit klimmendem Stengel und handnervigen ganzen od. gelappten Blättern u. häufig auch mit spiralförmig gerollten Ranken …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • Cucurbitaceae — Cucurbitacées Diffé …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Cucurbitaceae — Kürbisgewächse Weiße Zaunrübe (Bryonia alba), Illustration Systematik Überabteilung: Samenp …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Cucurbitaceae —   Cucurbitaceae Luffa operculata …   Wikipedia Español

  • Cucurbitaceae — noun a family of herbaceous vines (such as cucumber or melon or squash or pumpkin) • Syn: ↑family Cucurbitaceae, ↑gourd family • Derivationally related forms: ↑cucurbitaceous • Hypernyms: ↑dicot family, ↑magnoliopsid famil …   Useful english dictionary

  • Cucurbitaceae — …   Википедия

  • Cucurbitaceae — Abobra Acanthosicyos Actinostemma Alsomitra Ampelosycios Anacaona Apatzingania Apodanthera Bambekea Benincasa Biswarea Bolbostemma Brandegea Bryonia Bryonia dioica Jacq. Bryonia verrucosa Dryand. Calycophysum Cayaponia Cephalopentandra… …   Enciclopedia Universal


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.