CU'CURBITATE.ZE (Neo-Lat. nom, pl., front Lat. cucurbita, gourd). An order of dieotyle donous plants (the gourd family), consisting chiefly of herbaceous plants, natives of the warm er parts of the world, having succulent stems which climb by of lateral tendrils, the morphology- of which has been a subject of much contention. The flowers arc moncecious or dice cions, and often sympetalous. The calyx and corolla are five-parted and more or less co hesive. The stamens exhibit a number of pe culiarities, in some cases having bilocular an thers; in others various modifications arc shown, the a»thers adhering in some and even becoming united into a column with two ring-shaped pol len - chambers in the genus Cyclanthera. The fruit, called a pepo, is peculiar; is more or less succulent., has a fleshy rind, and the seed-bear ing placentle either surround a central cavity or send prolongations into it. The seeds are flat,
and more or less imbedded in the pulp, which may he dry or juicy. The cotyledons are large and leaf-like. This order contains nearly 90 genera, with about 650 species, many of which produce edible fruits and are cultivated in tem perate regions. To this order belong the cucum her, melon. gourd, pumpkin, squash, vegetable marrow, etc. (qq.v.). In some, important medi cinal properties abound, as in bryony, colocynth, momordica, etc. (qq.v.). Telfairia pedata, tropical African species, is cultivated for its seeds, which are used for food, and from which oil is expressed. The chief genera are Fevillea, Telfairia, Slelothria, Luffa, Byronia, Cucumis, Lagenaria, Cucurbita, Eehinoeystis, Sicyos, Se cilium, and Cyclanthera.