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Project Name Data (Last Modified On 7/31/2013)

Flora Data (Last Modified On 7/31/2013)
Genus Cucurbita L.
PlaceOfPublication Sp. P1. 1010. 1753
Note LECTOTYPE: C. lagenaria L.
Synonym Melopepo Miller, Gard. Dict. abr. ed. 4. 1754. TYPE: not designated. Pepo Miller, Gard. Dict. abr. ed. 4. 1754. TYPE: not designated. Sphenantha Schrad., Linnaea 12: 416. 1838. TYPE: S. scabra Schrad. Pileocalyx Gasp., Ann. Sci. Nat. Bot. ser. 3. 9: 220. 1848. TYPE: P. elegans Gasp. Tristemon Scheele, Linnaea 21: 586. 1848, non Raf., 1819 (Juncaginaceae), nec Raf., 1838 (Juncaceae), nec Kotz., 1838 (Ericaceae). TYFE: T. texanum Scheele.
Description Annual or perennial, monoecious, tendriled vines; stems 5- to 10-sulcate, usually creeping. Leaves subentire and reniform or suborbicular to deeply pinnate or bipinnately divided; tendrils 2- to 5-branched. Staminate flowers solitary or fasciculate; calyx campanulate, rarely cylindrical, 5-lobate (rarely 4- to 7-lobate); corolla campanulate, 5-lobate (rarely 4- to 7-lobate) to or below
Habit vines
Description the middle, the apex of the lobes recurved; stamens 3, inserted on the hypanthiuml tube, the filaments free, the anthers linear, connate into a cylindrical column, 1 anther unilocular, 2 anthers bilocular, the theca flexuous; peduncle short. Pistil- late flowers solitary, axillary, short pedunculate; calyx and corolla as in the sta- minate flowers; ovary oblong, 3- to 5-locular, the ovules numerous, horizontal, the styles short, thick, the stigmas 3-5, bilobate or bifurcate, papillose; staminodia 3, triangular. Fruits fleshy and fibrous, sometimes woody, indehiscent, highly variable in shape, size, and color; seeds ovate or oblong, flattened, the margins tumid or emarginate, the testa smooth.
Note The genus Cucurbita, with perhaps as many as 27 species, is native to the Neotropics although several species are much cultivated and consequently widely distributed in both the Old and New World. The center of origin for the genus is apparently southern Mexico and northern Central America where most wild and cultivated species still grow. The oldest archeologically known species is C. pepo (Cutler & Whitaker, 1961). Specimens of this species were found in caves in Mexico and date back to approximately 7000 B.C. Five species of Cucurbita are commonly cultivated, each with several races or varieties: C. pepo L., C. moschata Duch. ex Poit., C. maxima Duch., C. mixta Pang., and C. ficifolia Bouche. The common terms pumpkin and squash are of little value in differentiating among species of Cucurbita. Both terms are used for cultivars of C. pepo, C. maxima, C. mixta, and C. moschata in addition to a few other species of the genus. Similarly, the term gourd is applied to cultivars of C. pepo, C. ficifolial, and C. mixta, as well as to other species of Cucurbita and to Laoenaria siceraria (bottle gourd). It is also applied to species other than the Cucurbitaceae (e.g. Crescentia cujete L., calabash tree or gourd tree-Bignoniaceae). In Panama the most commonly cultivated Cucurbita species is probably C. moschata. Cucurbita pepo and C. maxima are believed to be more recent intro- ductions into the country and are less common. Cucurbita ficifolia, although probably introduced very early, is not cultivated as frequently as the other three species. Finally, C. mixta may also be encountered in cultivation in Panama. Since the five species of Cucurbita are found in Panama primarily as cultivated plants, rarely as escapes and probably not naturalized, they will only be briefly listed in this treatment.
Reference Bailey, L. H. 1943. Species of Cucurbita. Gentes Herb. 4: 267-316. Bukasov, S. M. 1930. The cultivated plants of Mexico, Guatemala, and Colombia. Trudy Prikl. Bot. Suppl. 47: 1-553. Cutler, H. C. & T. W. Whitaker. 1961. History and distribution of the cultivated cucurbits in the Americas. Amer. Antiquity 26: 469-485.
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