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


Table Some common economically important plants


BanglanameEnglish nameScientificnamePlant parts usedUsefulness
Khira, Shasha.CucumberCucumis sativusFruitVegetable
Chichinga.Snake gourd


Trichosanthes anguinaFruitVegetable
Lau, Kodu,Bottle gourd


Lagenaria vulgarisFruitVegetable
Chalkumra.White gourd


Benincasa hispidaFruitVegetable


Cucurbita maximaFruitVegetable
Karala.Bitter gourdMomordica charantiaFruitVegetable


Sponge gourd


Luffa cylindricaFruitVegetable
JhingaRibbed gourd


Luffa acutangulaFruitVegetable
PotolPointed gourdTrichosanthus diociaFruitVegetable
KakrolTeasel gourdMomordica cochinchinensis ccccochinchinensisFruitVegetable
Bangi Cucumis meloFruitVegetable
TormuzWater melonCitrullus lanatusFruitFruit
Bhikumra Trichosanthes cordataFruitVegetable

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