Gourd family

Botanical name

Cucurbitaceae also known as cucurbits

Features of gourds

Plants of the gourd family are summer crops. They grow as vines or shrubs and have a hollow five ridged stem. Their up to 50 cm big leaves are palmate with 3 to 5 lobes. Leaves, stems, and fruit are often prickly. The stems develop adventitious roots, even when not touching the ground. Gourds have strong taproots. Some gourds have tendrils to climb, and some can develop vines that are up to 15 m long. The flowers are often yellow or white and also show a 5 petal pattern. They are pollinated by insects. Gourds have male and female flowers on the same plant, only the female develop fruit. The fruit is grown to be used as a vegetable, the seeds of some pumpkins offer a well tasting oil.

Species we grow

Cucumber, zucchini, squash

Other common plants in this family

Melons, pumpkin, chokos, luffa an Asian vegetable that is also the fruit where the sponges are made from