This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol3", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
Rough prostrate vines, rooting at the nodes, with branched tendrils, usually lobed leaves mostly cordate at the base, and large yellow axillary monoecious flowers. Calyx-tube campanulate, usually 5-lobed. Corolla campanulate, 5-lobed to about the middle, the lobes recurving. Staminate flowers with three stamens, the anthers linear, more or less united and no pistil. Pistillate flowers with 1 pistil; ovary oblong with 3-5 many-ovuled placentae; style short, thick; stigmas 3-5, each 2-lobed, papillose; staminodia 3. Fruit large, fleshy, with a thick rind, many-seeded, indehiscent. [From the Greek name of some large fruit.]
About 10 species, natives of America, Asia and Africa. Besides the following, some 6 others occur in the southern and southwestern United States. Type species: Cucurbita Pepo L.
Cucurbita foetidissima H.B.K. Nov. Gen. 2: 123.
6: 193. 1850.
Stem stout, rough, hirsute, trailing to a length of 15°-25°. Root large, carrot-shaped. Petioles stout, 3'-8' long, very rough; leaves ovate-triangular, thick and somewhat fleshy, cordate or truncate at the base, acute at the apex, 4'-12' long, usually slightly 3-5-lobed, denticulate, rough above, canescent beneath; peduncles 1'-2' long; flowers mostly solitary; corolla 21/2'-4' long; pepo globose or globose-ovoid, 2'-3' in diameter, smooth, its pulp fibrous and bitter.
Dry soil, Missouri and Nebraska to Texas and Mexico, west to southern California. May-Sept.
Pumpkins, Squashes, Cucumbers and Melons, cultivated in many races belong to this genus. Gourds belong to Cucurbita Lagenaria L., the type of the genus Cucurbita.
Citrullus Citrullus (L.) Karst., the Watermelon, is found escaped from cultivation along river-shores in Virginia and West Virginia, and southward.