University of Guam


Malvaceae ] Brassicaceae ] [ Cucurbitaceae ] Fabaceae ] Solanaceae ] Asteraceae ]

[Rosids: Fabids]
Cucurbitaceae (squash family)

Pumpkin fruit, leaf, and staminate flower.
[Cutaway staminate flower]


On-line sources

Texas A&M (Manhart): Cucurbitaceae


Cucurbits provide several important food crops, including the squashes, pumpkin, watermelon, canteloup and other melons, cucumber, and bitter melon. They are also used for gourds. The shoots tips can be eaten as a cooked green vegetable.  But the part usually eaten is the fruit (it's got seeds, right), even though most people would not think of cucumber as a fruit. Fruit type is a pepo, a modified berry.

Characteristics of the family

Climbing or trailing herbs; they often use tendrils to climb. The plants typically have hairy or spiny stems and often have big yellow flowers, the petals partially fused to form a cuplike corolla. Dioecious -- separate staminate and pistillate flowers. Ovary inferior; several fused carpels. 


C. Lobban. 11/16/00