Hodgsonia male plant
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Cucurbitales
Family: Cucurbitaceae
Pumpkins and squashes displayed in a show competition.

The plant family Cucurbitaceae consists of various squashes, melons, and gourds, including crops such as cucumber, pumpkins, luffas, and 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.

The Cucurbitaceae are an important family consisting of approximately 125 genera and 960 species, mainly in regions tropical and subtropical. All species are sensitive to frost. 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.


There are about 125 extant genera in Cucurbitaceae, including 960 species. The following is the classification as given by Charles Jeffrey as of 1990.

Subfamily Zanonioideae (small striate pollen grains)

  • Tribe Zanonieae
    • Subtribe Fevilleinae: Fevillea
    • Subtribe Zanoniinae: Alsomitra Zanonia Siolmatra Gerrardanthus Zygosicyos Xerosicyos Neoalsomitra
    • Subtribe Gomphogyninae: Hemsleya Gomphogyne Gynostemma
    • Subtribe Actinostemmatinae: Bolbostemma Actinostemma
    • Subtribe Sicydiinae: Sicydium Chalema Pteropepon Pseudosicydium Cyclantheropsis

Subfamily Cucurbitoideae (styles united into a single column)

  • Tribe Melothrieae
    • Subtribe Dendrosicyinae: Kedrostis Dendrosicyos Corallocarpus Ibervillea Tumamoca Halosicyos Ceratosanthes Doyerea Trochomeriopsis Seyrigia Dieterlea Cucurbitella Apodanthera Guraniopsis Melothrianthus Wilbrandia
    • Subtribe Guraniinae: Helmontia Psiguria Gurania
    • Subtribe Cucumerinae: Melancium Cucumeropsis Posadaea Melothria Muellarargia Zehneria Cucumis (including: Mukia, Dicaelospermum, Cucumella, Oreosyce, and Myrmecosicyos [1]).
    • Subtribe Trochomeriinae: Solena Trochomeria Dactyliandra Ctenolepsis
  • Tribe Schizopeponeae: Schizopepon
  • Tribe Joliffieae
    • Subtribe Thladianthinae: Indofevillea Siraitia Thladiantha Momordica
    • Subtribe Telfairiinae: Telfaria
  • Tribe Trichosantheae
    • Subtribe Hodgsoniinae: Hodgsonia
    • Subtribe Ampelosicyinae: Ampelosicyos Peponium
    • Subtribe Trichosanthinae: Gymnopetalum Trichosanthes Tricyclandra
    • Subtribe Herpetosperminae: Cephalopentandra Biswarea Herpetospermum Edgaria
  • Tribe Benincaseae
  • Tribe Cucurbiteae (pantoporate, spiny pollen): Cucurbita Sicana Tecunumania Calycophysum Peponopsis Anacaona Polyclathra Schizocarpum Penelopeia Cionosicyos Cayaponia Selysia Abobra
  • Tribe Sicyeae (trichomatous nectary, 4- to 10-colporate pollen grains)
    • Subtribe Cyclantherinae: Hanburia Echinopepon Marah Echinocystis Vaseyanthus Brandegea Apatzingania Cremastopus Elateriopsis Pseudocyclanthera Cyclanthera Rytidostylis
    • Subtribe Sicyinae: Sicyos Sicyosperma Parasicyos Microsechium Sechium Sechiopsis Pterosicyos
  • incertae sedis: Odosicyos

Alphabetical list of genera: Abobra Acanthosicyos Actinostemma Alsomitra Ampelosycios Anacaona Apatzingania Apodanthera Bambekea Benincasa Biswarea Bolbostemma Brandegea Bryonia Calycophysum Cayaponia Cephalopentandra Ceratosanthes Chalema Cionosicyos Citrullus Coccinia Cogniauxia Corallocarpus Cremastopus Ctenolepis Cucumella Cucumeropsis Cucumis Cucurbita Cucurbitella Cyclanthera Dactyliandra Dendrosicyos Dicaelospermum Dieterlea Diplocyclos Doyerea Ecballium Echinocystis Echinopepon Edgaria Elateriopsis Eureiandra Fevillea Gerrardanthus Gomphogyne Gurania Guraniopsis Gymnopetalum Gynostemma Halosicyos Hanburia Helmontia Hemsleya Herpetospermum Hodgsonia Ibervillea Indofevillea Kedrostis Lagenaria Lemurosicyos Luffa Marah Melancium Melothria Melothrianthus Microsechium Momordica Muellerargia Mukia Myrmecosicyos Neoalsomitra Nothoalsomitra Odosicyos Oreosyce Parasicyos Penelopeia Peponium Peponopsis Polyclathra Posadaea Praecitrullus Pseudocyclanthera Pseudosicydium Psiguria Pteropepon Pterosicyos Raphidiocystis Ruthalicia Rytidostylis Schizocarpum Schizopepon Sechiopsis Sechium Selysia Seyrigia Sicana Sicydium Sicyos Sicyosperma Siolmatra Siraitia Solena Tecunumania Telfairia Thladiantha Trichosanthes Tricyclandra Trochomeria Trochomeriopsis Tumacoca Vaseyanthus Wilbrandia Xerosicyos Zanonia Zehneria Zombitsia Zygosicyos Ref: Watson and Dallwitz 3 September 2002


  1. ^ Renner, S. S., Schaefer, H. & Kocyan, A.; Schaefer, H; Kocyan, A (2007). "Phylogenetics of Cucumis (Cucurbitaceae): Cucumber (C. sativus) belongs in an Asian/Australian clade far from melon (C. melo)". BMC Evolutionary Biology 7: 58–69. doi:10.1186/1471-2148-7-58. PMID 17425784. 

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