11th Class Biology Families Cucurbitaceae

Cucurbitaceae

Category : 11th Class

Systematic position

        Division      :         Angiospermae

        Class            :         Dicotyledonae

        Subclass     :         Polypetalae

        Series          :         Calyciflorae

        Order          :         Passiflorales

        Family         :         Cucurbitaceae

Habit : These are trailing or climbing annuals or perennial herbs. Rarely they are shrubs (e.g., Acanthosicyos) or trees (e.g., Dendrosicyos).

Stem : Herbaceous, branched, pentangular, fistular, tendrils in axil of leaf or opposite to leaves. The morphological nature of tendril is of dispute.

Leaves : Leaves are cauline and ramal. They are alternate, exstipulate, simple, petiolate and cordate (e.g., Cucurbita maxima, Coccinia grandis) or deeply palmately lobed (e.g., Luffa cylindrica, Cyclanthera pedata). Venation is reticulate multicostate.

Inflorescence : Flowers are either solitary axillary (e.g., Cucurbita, Coccinia) or in cymose clusters (e.g., Cucumis, male flowers of Luffa).

Most of the members of the Cucurbitaceae are monoecious but a few are dioecious (e.g., Coccinia cordifolia, Trichosanthes dioica).

Flower : Flowers are bracteate or ebracteate, pedicellate, unisexual, incomplete actinomorphic, pentamerous and epigynous. Schizopepon is the only exception which has bisexual flowers.

Male flower

Calyx : Sepals 5, gamosepalous, quincuncial aestivation.

Corolla : Petals 5, gamopetalous, campanulate or rotate, imbricate or valvate aestivation.

Androecium : Stamens 5, polyandrous as in Fevillea, or \[(2)+(2)+1\] as in Momordica, anthers twisted, alternate to petals, sometimes epipetalous, dehiscence longitudinal.

Gynoecium : Absent.

Female flower

Calyx : Similar to male flower.

Corolla : Similar to male flower.                

Androecium : Absent but sometimes 2, 3 or 5 staminodes present.

Gynoecium : Tricarpellary, syncarpous, unilocular, ovary inferior, numerous ovules, parietal placentation but looks as axile placentation, style is simple, stigma 3.

Fruit : Pepo (variation of berry).

Seeds : Exalbuminous.

Male flower :

Female flower :

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