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CUCURBITACEAE GOURD FAMILY

John M. Miller & Robert L. Schlising

Annual, perennial herb; hairs often hard from calcium deposits; generally monoecious. Stem: trailing or climbing, 1–many; tendril generally 1 per node, often branched. Leaf: generally simple, alternate, generally palmate-lobed and -veined, petioled; stipules 0. Inflorescence: at nodes; staminate flowers in racemes, panicles, small clusters, (or 1); pistillate flowers generally 1. Flower: unisexual [bisexual], radial; hypanthium > ovary; calyx generally 5-lobed (or ± 0); corolla rotate to cup- or bell-shaped, generally 5-lobed; stamens 3–5 (or ± 1–3 from fusion), anthers twisted together, often > filaments; ovary ± inferior, chambers 3–5, placentas parietal, styles 1–3, stigmas generally lobed, large. Fruit: berry, drying or not, or capsule, irregularly dehiscent, often gourd- or melon-like. Seed: 1–many.
100 genera, 700 species: especially tropics; some cultivated (Citrullus, watermelon; Cucumis, cucumber; Cucurbita, gourd, pumpkin, squash; Luffa, loofah; Sechium, chayote). [Schaefer et al. 2009 Proc Roy Soc London Ser B, Biol Sci 276:843–851] Several cultivated species included Bryonia dioica reported as waifs in California (Howell 1958 Wasmann J Biol 16:1–157), but none recently. —Scientific Editors: Douglas H. Goldman, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Unabridged references: [Jeffrey 1990 An outline classification of the Cucurbitaceae, In: Bates, Robinson, and Jeffrey (eds.), Biology and Utilization of the Cucurbitaceae 17:449–463, Cornell Univ Press, Ithaca, NY; Kocyan et al. 2007 Molec Phylogen Evol 44:553–577; Lira, Rodriguez-Jimenez, Alvarado, Rodriguez, Castrejon, Dominguez-Mariani 1998 Acta Bot Mex 42: 43–77; McVaugh 2001 Cucurbitaceae In W.R. Anderson (ed), Flora Novo-Galiciana 3:483–652, Univ Michigan Herbarium, Ann Arbor, Michigan; Schaefer et al. 2008 Syst Bot 33:125–132]

Key to Cucurbitaceae

MARAH MAN-ROOT, WILD CUCUMBER
Perennial herb; tuber large; occasionally temporarily dioecious. Stem: ± scabrous or hairy, glabrous in age; tendril branched. Leaf: ± round, ± cordate, ± 5–7-lobed. Inflorescence: staminate flowers in racemes or panicles (or 1 flower per node early); pistillate flower 1 per node, generally at same nodes as staminate. Flower: sepals 0; staminate flower 3–15 mm wide, rotate to cup-shaped, white to cream or yellow-green; stamens fused, anthers twisted together; stigma (pistillate flowers) 1, ± hemispheric. Fruit: capsule, irregular-dehiscent from tip, ± symmetric, 3–20 cm, spheric to ovate or oblong, ± prickly, beak << body or 0. Seed: 1–many, generally > 1 cm, ± ovate, ± flat.
7 species: western North America. (Hebrew: bitter, from taste of all parts) [Borchert 2006 Ecol Res 21:641–650]
Unabridged references: [Nicholls & Bohm 1982 J Nat Prod 45:453–454; Schlising 1969 Amer J Bot 56:552–561]
Unabridged note: Sometimes included in Echinocystis.

Key to Marah

M. oregana (S. Watson) Howell COAST MAN-ROOT
NATIVE
Herbage not glaucous. Flower: corolla generally > 8 mm wide, deeply cup-shaped, white. Fruit: 4–8 cm, ± spheric, tapered to beak, generally striped dark green; prickles generally dense, stiff or flexible, generally 0 at tip, unhooked. Seed: generally 3–6, 16–22 mm, disk-shaped, ± flat.
2n=32. Shrubby or open areas, forest edges; < 1800 m. Northwestern California, San Francisco Bay Area; to British Columbia. [Marah oreganus, orth. var.] Mar–May [Online Interchange]
Unabridged note: Expanded author citation: Marah oregana (Torr. ex S. Watson) Howell

Previous taxon: Marah macrocarpa
Next taxon: Marah watsonii

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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html, accessed on Apr 19 2014
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2012. Marah, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_IJM.pl?tid=32753, accessed on Apr 19 2014

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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.