Cucurbitaceae

Family- Cucurbitaceae

Popular name- Gourd family 

Origin and distribution

The family Cucurbitaceae consists of about 110 genera and 700 species, widespread in tropical and subtropical regions. In Bangladesh, this family is represented by 21 genera and 39 species.

Taxonomic Position (According to Cronqist)

  • Kingdom : Plantae
  • Division : Magnoliophyta
  • Class : Magnoliopsida
  • Sub-class : Dilleniidae
  • Order : Violales
  • Family :Cucurbitaceae

 

Identifying characters

  • Mostly herbaceous climbers, climb by means of tendrils
  • Monoecious or dioecious
  • Simple, palmately lobed leaves
  • Epigynous flowers
  • Tricarpellary syncarpous ovary with inferior ovary
  • Placentation parietal
  • Fruit pepo

 Morphological Features

Habit: Herbs or weakly woody shrubs climbers or prostrate, annual or perennial.

 Leaves: Alternate, exstipulate, simple, palminerved, palmately or pedately lobed or compound, rarely pinnately divided or pinnately compound, lamina variable in the same species or even in the same plant. Tendrils solitary, lateral, spirally coiled, simple or divided.

Inflorescence: Axillary, cymose solitary or  clustered.

Flower: Flowers unisexual, very rarely bisexual, monoecious or dioecious.

Calyx: Sepals five, tubular or campanulate.

Corolla: Petal five, gamo or polypetalous, white, yellow, greenish or rarely blue or red.

Androecium: Stamens usually 5 or 3, of which one often 1-locular and the others 2-locular, but sometimes 4, 2 or even 1, filaments separate or variously united into a column, anthers erect, curved or conduplicate, pistillode present or not. Stamens are synandrous or syngenesous.

Gynoecium: Ovary inferior or nearly completely so, mostly composed of three carpels.

Placentation: Parietal , placentas parietal

Fruit: Generally pepo.

Seeds: Seeds usually many, often compressed, horizontal, erect or pendulous, tuberculate, rarely winged, marginate, exalbuminous.

Floral Formula:

Staminate flower:

                 K(5) C(5) A (5) G0         

Pistillate flower:

                K(5) C(5) A 0 G(3)         

 

Floral diagram

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Table Some common economically important plants

 

Banglaname English name Scientificname Plant parts used Usefulness
Khira, Shasha. Cucumber Cucumis sativus Fruit Vegetable
Chichinga. Snake gourd

 

Trichosanthes anguina Fruit Vegetable
Lau, Kodu, Bottle gourd

 

Lagenaria vulgaris Fruit Vegetable
Chalkumra. White gourd

 

Benincasa hispida Fruit Vegetable
Mistikumra, Pumpkin

 

Cucurbita maxima Fruit Vegetable
Karala. Bitter gourd Momordica charantia Fruit Vegetable
Dhundul,

 

Sponge gourd

 

Luffa cylindrica Fruit Vegetable
Jhinga Ribbed gourd

 

Luffa acutangula Fruit Vegetable
Potol Pointed gourd Trichosanthus diocia Fruit Vegetable
Kakrol Teasel gourd Momordica cochinchinensis ccccochinchinensis Fruit Vegetable
Bangi   Cucumis melo Fruit Vegetable
Tormuz Water melon Citrullus lanatus Fruit Fruit
Bhikumra   Trichosanthes cordata Fruit Vegetable

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