The plants of the Gourd Family are rapid-growing herbs, mostly vines with succulent stems and tendrils.  The leaves are alternate, lobed and palmately veined.  The flowers have 5 united petals, although there any be 6 or 7 in Marah, and are of two sexes on the same or different plants.  The stamens are seemingly 3, but really 5 with two pairs united.  The ovary is inferior and the fruit is a fleshy, berry-like structure with a rind and a spongy interior that is called a "pepo."


Melons, pumpkins and squash belong to this family as well as the gourds for which it is named.  (Dale 103).



Upper Newport Bay species within the family:


Citrullus colocynthis var. lanatus

Cucurbita foetidissima #

Marah macrocarpus var. macrocarpus #