This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
(Greek, anthers in a circle). Cucur-bitdcese. Annual- or perennial-rooted herbs, one of which is sometimes grown for its ornamental character.
Climbing by tendrils, glabrous or pubescent: leaves entire, lobed or 5-7-foliolate: flowers monoecious, minute, yellow, greenish or white, with their parts in 6's, stamen 1 with a 1-celled anther. The plant is a climbing half-hardy annual of easy cultivation The seed should be started indoors early. The genus is near Echino-cystis and Elaterium, and has more than 30 species, all from tropical Amer.
Schrad. Annual: stem glabrous: leaves pedately 5-7-foliolate, the Ifts. sessile or nearly so and lanceolate or oblong-lanceolate, serrate: tendrils 3-4-parted: male flowers small, in panicles equaling or exceeding the leaves: fruit nearly sessile, somewhat soft-prickly or smooth, oblong and attenuate at base, green becoming yellowish white, 2-locular. Mex. south. - A strong ornamental climber. C. explodens, Naudin, with somewhat 3-lobed leaves and short spiny explosive fruit, may be in cultivation l. H B.