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Published In: Species Plantarum 2: 1011. 1753. (1 May 1753) (Sp. Pl.) Name publication detailView in BotanicusView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 6/2/2011)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project Data     (Last Modified On 6/3/2011)
General/Distribution: A genus of about 25 species, mostly tropical African in distribution. Some are confined to tropical Asia. Two are cultivated almost throughout the world. Represented in Pakistan by 2 wild and 2 cultivated taxa.


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Annual or perennial, climbing or trailing, monoecious, rarely dioecious herbs. Sterns and leaves mostly scabrid or hispid. Tendrils simple. Leaves variously 3-7-lobed, margin dentate or serrate. Female flowers solitary. Male flowers mostly fascicled. Calyx campanulate, lobes 5, subulate. Corolla yellow, turbinate, rotate or subcampanulate, 5-lobed, lobes mostly oblong or ovate and acute. Stamens 3, free, inserted at the base of calyx, 1-2-celled, filaments short, connectives produced, bifid; pistillode glandular. Ovary ovoid or globose, ovules horizontal, numerous. Staminodes setiform or ligulate. Style short, simple, surrounded by annular disc. Stigmas 3(-5), obtuse, spherical or obovate. Ovary ovoid, ovules numerous. Fruit smooth, echinate or spinous; seeds smooth and compressed, mostly without margin.

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1 Fruits glabrous or with few scattered hairs (2)
+ Fruits softly echinate or tuberculate 2 Cucumis prophetarum
2 (1) Leaf lobes not acute. Ovary hairy or densely white woolly. Fruit polymorphic, mostly rounded, ovoid or ellipsoid (3)
+ Leaf lobes acute. Ovary hispidulous. Fruit elongated or cylindric, rarely ovoid 1 Cucumis sativus
3 (2) Leaves usually deeply 5(-7)-lobed, scabrid. Corolla up to 10 mm long. Fruit oblong or obscurely trigonus, upto 7 cm long. Plants wild
+ Leaves shallowly 5-lobed or angular, softly hairy. Corolla 10-20 mm long. Fruit polymorphic, not trigonous. Plants cultivated (4)
4 (3) Fruit elongated and slender, 2.5-5 cm in diameter, striated or ridged, softly hairy when young
+ Fruit not elongated, ovoid, spherical rounded or elliptic, more than 5 cm in diameter, smooth, netted or rough, not ridged, glabrous (5)
5 (4) The flesh of the fruit mealy and insipid. Fruit bursts after ripening
+ The flesh of the fruit not mealy and insipid. Fruit never bursts after ripening
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