21. Lagenaria Seringe, Mém. Soc. Phys. Genève. 3: 25, plate 2. 1825.
Bottle gourd [Greek lagenos, flask, alluding to shape and use of fruit] Bottle gourd [Greek lagenos, flask, alluding to shape and use of fruit]
Plants annual [perennial], monoecious [dioecious], scandent or prostrate; stems <mostly annual>, densely villous to puberulent [sparsely hirsute to villous-hirsute]; taprooted [roots tuberous]; tendrils 2-branched. Leaves: <petiole with pair of small conical glands at apex>; blade broadly reniform or ovate [suborbiculate], ± palmately 3–5(–7)-lobed, lobes triangular to widely obovate, <base cordate>, margins shallowly sinuate-serrate to dentate or sinuate-dentate, surfaces <shortly puberulous or pubescent>, eglandular. Inflorescences: staminate flowers solitary [racemose], axillary; pistillate flowers solitary, in same axils as staminate; bracts absent. Flowers: hypanthium campanulate to funnelform; sepals 5, subulate to triangular or linear; petals 5, distinct, white to cream, obovate to oblong-obovate, (15–)20–greenish yellow, maturing yellowish or pale brown, commonly mottled or with light green or white longitudinal stripes, subglobose to cylindric, ellipsoid, or lageniform, sometimes 2-ventricose, usually broader distally, smooth, <glabrous>, indehiscent. Seeds 100–300, oblong to ovoid-oblong, compressed, not arillate, with marginal groove (truncate), surface smooth. x = 11.
Species 6 (1 in the flora): introduced; Africa, Indian Ocean Islands (Madagascar); introduced widely.
SELECTED REFERENCE Clarke, A. C. et al. 2006. Reconstructing the origins and dispersal of the Polynesian bottle gourd (Lagenaria siceraria). Molec. Biol. Evol. 23: 893–900.