Climbing or trailing, herbaceous vines, usually with tendrils. Leaves alternate, petioled, generally palmately lobed or dissected. Flowers solitary or racemose, monoecious or dioecious. Calyx-tube adnate to the ovary, its limb campanulate or tubular, usually 5-lobed, the lobes imbricated. Petals usually 5, inserted on the limb of the calyx, separate, or united into a gamopetalous corolla. Stamens mostly 3 (sometimes 1), 2 of them with 2-celled anthers, the other with a 1-celled anther; filaments short, often somewhat monadelphous. Ovary 1-3-celled; style terminal, simple or lobed; ovules few or numerous, anatropous. Fruit a pepo, indehiscent, or rarely dehiscent at the summit, or bursting irregularly; or sometimes dry and membranous Seeds usually flat; endosperm none.

About 90 genera and 700 species, mainly natives of tropical regions, a few in the temperate zones Flowers large, yellow; prostrate vine.

1. Pepo.

Flowers small, white or greenish; climbing vines. Fruit glabrous; seeds numerous, horizontal.

2. Melothria.

Fruit prickly; seeds 1 or few, erect or pendulous.

Fruit dehiscent at the apex or bursting irregularly; several-seeded. Leaves 3-7-lobed; anthers 3.

3. Micrampelis.

Leaves digitately compound; anther 1.

4. Cyclanthera.

Fruit indehiscent, 1-seeded.

5. Sicyos.