Botanical name: Cucurbitaceae
Botanical name: Cucurbitaceae
Species of Gourd
Xerosicyos are climbing succulents endemic to Madagascar. They can be cultivated as houseplants which are quite popular for their strange appearance, characterized by perfectly round, thick, fleshy foliage. These leaves die back during prolonged periods of drought, but the plants themselves survive and are considered highly drought-tolerant.
Squirting cucumber (Ecballium) contains only one species and is native to the Mediterranean region. They are known for their exploding fruits that can propel their seeds away from the plant. Be wary though, all parts of these plants can be toxic if ingested.
Benincasa is a vine grown for its very large fruit. The genus benincasa has the only member. It has yellow flowers and broad leaves. It is native to South Asia and Southeast Asia. The wax gourd is widely grown throughout Asia, including Java and Japan.
The kedrostis genus includes annual vines that can grow up to 6 m long in a season before the plant goes into dormancy. These are hardy plants that can also be cultivated indoors as potted plants, as well. They form a distinctive large caudex (a swollen above-ground root at the base), but it is mostly their vines that are visible.
Lagenaria are a gourd-bearing vine native to Africa. Many varieties are edible, but some are inedible and even toxic. The shells of the gourds can be used as containers, nets, pipes, and other decorations. However, it can become invasive outside of its native range as it is very fast-growing and can outcompete native vegetation for resources.
Wild cucumber are native to western North America. The manroots are perennial plants, growing from a large tuberous root. Most have stout, scabrous or hairy stems, with coiling tendrils that enable them to climb up other plants. Their leaves tend to have multiple lobes. The fruits are large, and spherical, oval or cylindrical. And in many species they are covered in long spines. It includes six or seven species.
Momordica are a genus of climbing plants native to Africa, Asia, and Australia. Some species such as the bitter gourd Mimordica charantia, are cultivated as food crops and are particularly popular in south and east Asian cuisines. Most momordica are pollinated by bees.
The melon (Cucumis) are a genus consisting of climbing vines. They include cucumbers, gherkins (small cucumbers), and several types of melon fruits. Some of these plants are cultivated as food crops (such as honeydew and cantaloupe), while others (C. dipsaceus) grow wild. Most of the species have edible fruits, but C. myriocarpus is toxic to humans and animals.
Sechium are a genus of gourds that can be characterized by its singular seed and yellow flowers. Its Latin name Sechium is suggested to come from the Greek term sikyos, meaning cucumber. Sechium are a New World plant that is native to the Americas.
Melothria_ are a genus of perennial vines and climbers that produce fruits similar in appearance to cucumbers or small watermelons. The fruits contain low levels of toxins. The plants of this genus naturally grow in the Amazon region. These hardy herbaceous plants can become weedy when grown in gardens.
The water melons (Citrullus) are a group of vining species often cultivated for their fruits. This includes watermelon, an important global food crop. These species grow well in hot, dry, desert conditions. Although the fruits are edible, some species require cooking or ripeness before they can be safely consumed.
The climbing annuals, sometimes perennials, of balsam apples are noted for creeping alongside streams and waterways in montane regions of southern North and South America. Blooming with white flowers in the late summer, the species of balsam apples produce prickly fruits. They are relatively hairy plants.
Hodgsonia is a small genus of fruit-bearing vines in the family Cucurbitaceae.
Zehneria species are either monoecious or dioecious, annual or perennial, climbing vines. Their leaves are simple, dentate and usually palmately lobed. Inflorescences grow on axillary racemes, with the flowers normally clustered, occasionally solitary. The fruit is fleshy, usually globose or ellipsoidal, and indehiscent. The seeds are obovate, compressed and smooth. It contains about 35 species ranging from Africa, through Southeast Asia to Australia and Oceania.
Diplocyclos is a genus of climbing or trailing vine in the family Cucurbitaceae. The genus comprises four or five species. D. palmatus is pantropical in distribution and the remainder of species are restricted to Africa. Diplocyclos is characterised by simple, palmately lobed leaves and dioecius flowers, with male and female flowers in axillary sessile clusters or racemes. Diplocyclos produce fleshy, globular fruit with distinct striped or spotted patterns.
The wild Cucumber genus contains only one species, Echinocystis lobata. It is an annual climbing vine that produces a small, inedible prickly fruit. The genus name, Echinocystis, refers to the fruit's shape and comes from the Greek words for "hedgehog" and "bladder."
Scarlet gourds are climbing vines that grow white or yellow flowers and green oval or lobed leaves. Their most noticeable feature is the eye-catching fruits that turn bright red when mature. In many species, the tubers and/or berries are used as a source of nutritious foods, while the flowers are a popular source of pollen for bees.
Members of the burr Cucumbers genus are climbing annual vines native to North America. They are similar to and easily confused with a wild cucumber but can be differentiated by the hairy stems and leaves and bur-like fruits. Although some species are used as ornamental plants, they can be invasive and difficult to control.
Gynostemma is a genus of perennial climbing vines in the cucumber, gourd, and melon family, comprising at least 19 species, all native to the tropical East or Far East. All species of gynostemma have tendrils (usually branching); most are dioecious. The leaves are usually in palmately arrayed leaflets (3–9, ovate-lanceolate in shape), arranged alternately on the stem. Inflorescences are either racemose or paniculate. Fruits can be capsular or pea-like, containing two or three seeds.
Loofahs are a genus of climbing vines that are best known as the source of the 'loofah' bathroom sponge, which is actually a dried-out gourd. These plants are often grown near household windows to create natural sun screens. The species Luffa aegyptiaca produces an edible gourd that is a common feature of Indian and Asian cuisines.
Gerrardanthus is a genus of flowering plants native to tropical Africa and South Africa. Gerrardanthus is a perennial climber, with height up to 5 m, rising from a swollen, tuberous base with a thickness of up to 1.5 m. Stems are herbaceous but becoming woody and grey-barked as they age.
The globeberry genus contains vines originating from the Americas. The Latin name of the genus, Ibervillea, honors Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville, the founder of the French colony of Louisiana. These plants produce gourds, but they are not edible. Some species are grown ornamentally for their colorful fruit and insect-attracting flowers.
Bryonies are perennial, tendril-climbing, diclinous or dioecious herbs with palmately lobed leaves and flowers in axillary clusters. The fruit is a smooth, globular berry. Twelve species are presently accepted by the USDA. They are native to western Eurasia and adjacent regions, such as North Africa, the Canary Islands and South Asia.
Cyclanthera is a genus of flowering plants in the family Cucurbitaceae. Some species show extreme cases of stamen fusion forming a ring around the gynoecium, with a single locule.