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1. Cucurbitaceae

葫芦科 hu lu ke

Authors: Anmin Lu & Charles Jeffrey

Herbs, annual or perennial, or weak, woody shrubs with watery sap, scandent or prostrate. Roots fibrous or tuberous. Stem often angular. Leaves alternate, undivided or variously palmately or pedately divided, often cordate; tendrils solitary, lateral, simple or branched, spirally twisted, rarely absent; stipules absent. Plants monoecious or dioecious; flowers unisexual, very rarely bisexual; flowers paniculate, racemose, or subumbellate, rarely solitary. Calyx tube (hypanthium) adnate to ovary; tube rotate, campanulate, or saucer-shaped, usually 5-lobed; segments imbricate. Corolla usually sympetalous, inserted on calyx tube; segments valvate or involute. Stamens inserted at base or mouth of calyx tube, usually 5 or 3, of which one often 1-celled and other two 2-celled; filaments separate or variously united into a column; anthers separate or coherent into a head; anther cells straight to conduplicate, extrorse; rudimentary ovary often present in male flowers; staminodes often in female flowers. Ovary inferior or nearly completely so, mostly composed of 3 carpels, 3-locular, rarely 1- or 2- or spuriously 4-6-locular; ovules usually numerous, rarely few or solitary, horizontal, pendulous, or ascending, often immersed in pulp; placentas parietal, fleshy, often confluent at middle of ovary; style terminal, simple or branched at apex or styles free; stigma enlarged or 2-fid. Fruit usually a fleshy berry or corky, indehiscent or rarely opening by valves or by an operculum, rarely fibrous. Seeds often numerous, rarely few or solitary, horizontal, pendulous, or ascending, often compressed, rarely winged; endosperm absent; embryo with leaflike cotyledons and short radicle.

About 123 genera and over 800 species: most in tropics and subtropics, very rare in temperate regions; 35 genera (one endemic, nine introduced) and 151 species (73 endemic, 14 introduced) in China.

Lu An-ming & Zhang Zhi-yun. 1986. Cucurbitaceae. In: Lu An-ming & Chen Shu-kun, eds., Fl. Reipubl. Popularis Sin. 73(1): 84-280.

1 Corolla segments fimbriate at margin   (2)
+ Corolla segments not fimbriate   (3)
2 (1) Ovules and seeds numerous; calyx tube less than 7 cm.   21 Trichosanthes
+ Ovules 12, seeds usually 6, each with 1 abortive seed attached to its side; calyx tube 7-10 cm.   20 Hodgsonia
3 (1) Stamens 5, anther cells ovoid and straight   (4)
+ Stamens 3 or 1, anther cells horizontal when only 1 stamen, or rarely 5 but then anther cells conduplicate   (15)
4 (3) Leaves palmately compound, rarely simple   (5)
+ Leaves simple   (9)
5 (4) Plants woody, scandent; leaflets almost entire, with 2 glands at base; seeds with membranous wing at apex.   4 Neoalsomitra
+ Plants herbaceous, scandent; leaflets distinctly denticulate, eglandular at base; seeds without wing or rarely winged   (6)
6 (5) Fruit indehiscent; seeds horizontal.   11 Thladiantha
+ Fruit 3-valved, dehiscent at apex or rarely not dehiscent but then smaller in size; seeds pendulous   (7)
7 (6) Corolla segments more than 5 mm; fruit clavate-cylindric, obovoid, or globose, more than 6-seeded.   1 Hemsleya
+ Corolla segments less than 3 mm; fruit turbinate or globose, 1-3(-5)-seeded   (8)
8 (7) Plants monoecious; fruit turbinate, 3-valved, dehiscent at apex.   2 Gomphogyne
+ Plants dioecious; fruit globose or campanulate, indehiscent or dehiscent along ventral suture.   3 Gynostemma
9 (4) Flowers with corolla segments less than 10 mm; fruit dehiscent, operculate or 3-valved   (10)
+ Flowers with corolla segments ca. 2 cm, or if smaller then calyx longer than corolla; fruit baccate, indehiscent; seed not winged   (12)
10 (9) Leaf blade entire; fruit 6-10 cm, truncate at apex, 3-valved; seeds surrounded by a membranous wing.   5 Zanonia
+ Leaf blade divided; fruit 1-3.5 cm, operculate; seed not winged or with membranous wing at apex   (11)
11 (10) Plants monoecious; leaf blade cordate-hastate, eglandular at base; fruit dehiscent near middle; seeds not winged.   7 Actinostemma
+ Plants dioecious; leaf blade with 1 or 2 pairs of glands at base; fruit dehiscent near apex; seeds with membranous wing at apex.   6 Bolbostemma
12 (9) Flowers with calyx longer than corolla; anthers reniform; fruit more than 10 cm.   8 Indofevillea
+ Flowers with corolla longer than calyx; anthers oblong; fruit less than 10 cm   (13)
13 (12) Plants with black glandular scales.   9 Siraitia
+ Plants without glandular scales   (14)
14 (13) Tendrils spiraling only above point of branching; anther cells straight.   11 Thladiantha
+ Tendrils spiraling also below point of branching; anther cells reniform-curved.   10 Sinobaijiania
15 (3) Stamens united into a central column and pollen sac fusing into ring; leaf blade pedatipartite.   22 Cyclanthera
+ Stamens 3, or rarely 5 but then anther cells conduplicate; leaves not pedately compound   (16)
16 (15) Flowers less than 10 mm in diam   (17)
+ Flowers more than 10 mm in diam   (24)
17 (16) Plants dioecious or rarely flowers bisexual; fruit 3-valved from apex to base when mature; seeds 1-3, pendulous.   14 Schizopepon
+ Plants usually monoecious, rarely dioecious; fruit indehiscent; seeds often horizontal   (18)
18 (17) Male flowers without pistillode; anther cells conduplicate; male and female flowers fasciculate in leaf axil.   29 Diplocyclos
+ Male flowers with globose or subulate pistillode; anther cells straight, curved or conduplicate   (19)
19 (18) Anther cells incurved or reflexed.   33 Solena
+ Anther cells straight   (20)
20 (19) Male flowers in sessile or subsessile fascicles; ovary hispid.   27 Mukia
+ Male flowers in pedunculate cymes, racemes, or umbels, or solitary; ovary glabrous or with fine hairs   (21)
21 (20) Filaments as long as or longer than anthers, ca. 1 mm or more   (22)
+ Filaments shorter than anthers, 0.5-1 mm   (23)
22 (21) Corolla yellow; filaments and staminodes glabrous except at very base; seeds scrobiculate.   28 Scopellaria
+ Corolla white or pale yellow; filaments and staminodes hairy above base; seeds smooth.   25 Zehneria
23 (21) Anther connective not produced beyond thecae; stigmas glabrous, apically shortly 2-lobed; fruit black when ripe.   24 Melothria
+ Anther connective usually shortly produced beyond thecae; stigmas papillose, rounded; fruit white or red when ripe.   25 Zehneria
24 (16) Anther cells straight; calyx tube narrowly funnelform.   17 Edgaria
+ Anther cells conduplicate   (25)
25 (24) Tendrils absent.   13 Ecballium
+ Tendrils present   (26)
26 (25) Corolla campanulate   (27)
+ Corolla rotate or rarely campanulate but then segments almost free   (28)
27 (26) Leaf blade hirsute, eglandular at base; flowers yellow; fruit large.   35 Cucurbita
+ Leaf blade glabrous, with a few glands at base; flowers white; fruit ca. 5 cm.   30 Coccinia
28 (26) Calyx tube in male flower elongate, tubular or funnelform   (29)
+ Calyx rotate   (32)
29 (28) Flowers white; petiole apex 2-glandular.   31 Lagenaria
+ Flowers yellow; leaf blade eglandular at base   (30)
30 (29) Corolla rotate; leaf blade less than 10 cm.   19 Gymnopetalum
+ Corolla campanulate; leaf blade over 10 cm   (31)
31 (30) Leaf blade deeply lobed; seeds many, horizontal.   15 Biswarea
+ Leaf blade undivided; seeds few, pendulous.   16 Herpetospermum
32 (28) Flowers with leaflike bract on pedicel; fruit usually muriculate, often 3-valved when mature.   12 Momordica
+ Flowers without bract on pedicel   (33)
33 (32) Male inflorescence racemose or subumbellate   (34)
+ Flowers solitary or fascicled   (35)
34 (33) Annual herb; fruit many seeded.   18 Luffa
+ Perennial climber; fruit 1-seeded; seed large.   23 Sechium
35 (33) Calyx segments subleaflike, dentate, reflexed.   34 Benincasa
+ Calyx segments subulate, entire, not reflexed   (36)
36 (35) Tendrils 2- or 3-fid; connective not produced.   32 Citrullus
+ Tendrils simple; connective produced beyond anther cells.   26 Cucumis

  • List of lower taxa


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