FAMILY 9: Cucurbitaceae – Gourd Family characters, Floral formula & species

Gourd Family

Diagnostic characters

  1. Habit: Mostly annual or perennial herbs. They are mostly tendril climbers.
  2. Roots: Tap root
  3. Stem: Herbaceous. Stem is very soli It has tendrils.
  4. Leaves: Petiolate; Leaves are alternate; simple; exstipulate; palmately reticulate venation. Sonic leaves bear tendrils in their axils.
  5. Inflorescence: The flowers are solitary but some have Racemose or cymose clusters.
  6. Flower: Pedic i I late; ebracteate; actinomorph ic; Regular; complete or incomplete; unisexual or hermaphrodite; plant may be monoecious or dioecious; epigenous;
  7. Calyx: 5 sepals; united; campanula e; grem
  8. Corolla: 5 petals; united at base or free; yellow or white.
  9. Stamens in male flowers: 3 to 5 sy mens; united by various degree; anther are very long. Stamens are borne on calyx tube.
  10. Carpels in female flowers: 3 fused carp ‘Is; syncarpous; inferior ovary; Parietal placentation.
  11. Fruits: Fleshy berry
  12. Seed: Non-endospermic seed.

Floral formula and floral diagram

 Cucurbitaceae Floral formula and floral diagram

 Cucurbitaceae Floral formula and floral diagram 2

Economic Importance



  1. Vegetables and fruits: Many members of this family produce vegetables and fruits. Som_g of vegetables and fruits are: wax gourd , Water melon , Citrullus vulgaris Mask melon vegetable marrow , cucumber  Loofah , Momorclica chat-antics .
  2. Medicinal importance: Some plants of this family give important drugs. The fruits and seeds of majority of them are laSatives. A plantCo/Ktmhis gives a drug. EchaMum elaterium gives a drug elaterium.
  3. Bath sponges: The vegetable sponge (Luna) is dried. Its inner fibrous fruit is removed and used as bath sponge. It is also used for dish washing.
  4. Ornamental plants: Certain vines of this family are grown as ornamental plants.
  5. Dangerous plants: Some plants are very dangerous to humans.
    The juice of Echo elaterium (Squirting cucumber).
  6. Weeds: Some plants of this family act as weeds.

Distribution pattern

This family has 100 genera and 850 species. Most of the plants are tropical and sub-tropical. Some species are temperate.

Common species

  1. Cucurhita pepo (pumpkin)
  2. Cucumis meta (melon
  3. Cucumis sans (cucumber )
  4. Momordica charantia
  5. Luffli aeuptica

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  1. Lusy June 29, 2016

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