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Robert L. Schlising

Annual, perennial herb, generally monoecious; hairs often hardened by calcium deposits
Stems trailing or climbing, 1–many; tendril generally 1 per node, often branched
Leaves generally simple, alternate, generally palmately lobed, veined, petioled; stipule 0
Inflorescences at nodes; staminate flowers in racemes, panicles, small clusters, rarely solitary; pistillate flowers generally solitary
Flower unisexual in CA, radial; hypanthium > ovary; calyx (apparently 0 or) generally 5-lobed; corolla rotate or cup-shaped, generally 5-lobed; stamens 3–5 (or appearing 1–3 from fusion), anthers often > filaments, twisted together; ovary ± inferior, chambers generally 5, placentas parietal, ± growing into chambers, styles 1–3, stigmas generally lobed, large
Fruit: berry (sometimes drying) or capsule (irregularly dehiscent), generally gourd- or melon-like
Seeds 1–many
Genera in family: 100 genera, 700 species: especially tropical; some cultivated (Citrullus ; Cucumis ; Cucurbita ; Sechium , chayote). Citrullus colocynthis var. lanatus has been reported as a weed in DSon.



Annual, perennial herb (from large, fleshy, tuber-like root)
Stem smooth to scabrous; tendril generally branched
Leaf lanceolate to round, entire to deeply lobed
Inflorescence: flowers 1 per node, staminate and pistillate at different nodes
Flowers: corolla > 3 cm wide (staminate generally < pistillate), deeply cup- or bell-shaped, yellow, fused portion 4–12 cm, lobes generally recurved; stigmas 3, each 2-lobed
Fruit gourd-like, indehiscent, ± round to ± flat; rind firm, smooth, rough, or grooved
Seeds many, < ± 2 cm, ± ovate, ± flat; margin thick or raised
Species in genus: ± 30 species: warm Am
Etymology: (Latin: gourd)
Reference: [Rhodes et al. 1968 Brittonia 20:251–266]


C. foetidissima Kunth


Herbage coarsely scabrous, hairy; tendril branched generally > 1 cm above base
Leaf 15–30 cm; blade generally triangular-ovate, ± cordate or truncate at base, gray-green, ill-smelling, angled, finely toothed or weakly lobed at base
Flower: corolla 9–12 cm
Fruit generally 7–8 cm wide, ± round, green, mottled, with coarse, white stripes
Seed 12–14 mm, white
Chromosomes: 2n=40
Ecology: Sandy, gravelly places
Elevation: < 1300 m.
Bioregional distribution: Great Central Valley, Central Western California, Southwestern California, Desert
Distribution outside California: to NE, Texas, n Mexico
Flowering time: Jun–Aug
Other localities possibly due to human transport
Horticultural information: SUN, DRN: 7, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24 &IRR: 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13; deciduous, GRCVR.

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