Ku-ker-bi-ta'se-e. L. Cucurbit-a + aceae, a gourd, fr. curvitas, crookedness - i. e., referring to the fruit's shape. Herbs. Distinguished by possessing acrid, bitter, purgative properties, succulent nature, prostrate or climbing, with tendrils; leaves and stem scabrous; flowers unisexual, calyx 5-toothed, tube adnate to the ovary; corolla 5's, per-igynous; stamens mostly 3, usually united; ovary 1-3-celled; inferior; fruit succulent, pulpy, edible; seeds flat, many, exalbuminous; tropics; purgative (pulp), edible, poisonous.
Genera. 1. Cucurbita. 2. Citrullus. 3. Ecballium.