Melon Family

  • The Melon Family, Cucurbitaceae, is a plant family commonly known as melons, gourds or cucurbits and includes crops like cucumbers, squashes (including pumpkins), luffas, melons (including watermelons). 
  • The family is predominantly distributed around the tropics, where those with edible fruits were amongst the earliest cultivated plants in both the Old and New Worlds.
  • Most of the plants in this family are annual vines but there are also woody lianas, thorny shrubs, and trees (Dendrosicyos). 
  • Many species have large, yellow or white flowers. 
  • The stems are hairy and pentangular. 
  • Tendrils are present at 90° to the leaf petioles at nodes. 
  • Leaves are exstipulate alternate simple palmately lobed or palmately compound. 
  • The flowers are unisexual, with male and female flowers on different plants (dioecious) or on the same plant (monoecious). 
  • The female flowers have inferior ovaries. 
  • The fruit is often a kind of modified berry called a pepo.

Melon Family Members