15. Cucumis Linn., Sp. Pl. 1011. 1753. Gen. Pl. ed. 5.442. 1754; Benth. & Hook. f., Gen. Pl. 1:826. 1867; Cogn. in A. & C. DC., Monogr. Phan. 3:497. 1881; Clarke in Hook. f., Fl. Brit. Ind. 2:619. 1879; Chakravarty, Monogr. Ind. Cucurbit. in Rec. Bot. Surv. Ind. 17(1):98. 1959.
S. NAZIMUDDIN AND S. SHAHARYAR H. NAQVI
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.
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.