(A curvitate; from its shape). Cucurbita lagenaria Lin. Sp. Pl 1434. The gourd. It is a large fruit growing on a plant: its seed is one of the four cold seeds mentioned in the article Cucumis. It is also a glass vessel with a round belly and a long neck, about six inches diameter, and firmly closed; bocia, bolus barbatus, and ovum sublimatorium.
Cucurbita. A cupping glass. (See Cucuiuiitu-la). Also a cucurbit; alkara obelchera. A chemical vessel, so called from its resemblance to a gourd; for it gradually arises from a wide bottom, and terminates in a small neck. Some call it vas urinale, because it is shaped like a glass in which urine is inspected. It is used in distillation, with a head, and then it constitutes an alembic: it is also used in digestions, with a blind alembic fitted to it.
Cucurbits are made of glass, earthen ware, or of metal, according to the respective uses in which they are engaged: the earthen ones are called canthari figulini; the copper ones are lined with tin, vesicae distillutoriae.
The broader the bottom, and the narrower and longer the neck, with the more difficulty its contents are distilled; so that the less obedient any subject is to the fire, the narrower the bottom, and the shorter the neck should be, and vice versa.
It is a blind cucurbit, when another small cucurbit is placed on with its neck in the neck of the larger. The lesser are called separately cucurbits. If its belly is spherical, and its neck long and cylindrical, it is called matractum, a matrass, or a bolt head.
The length of its neck is such, that scarcely any of the liquor ascends to its mouth, the cold external air repelling it again to the bottom of the vessel. Thus the digestions of menstrua, with the substances to be resolved in them, are conveniently carried on without any loss.- They are used for macerating and digesting various ingredients: they are also used as receivers, and take different names from their different shapes. Besides these advantages, the long necked cucurbits are singularly useful in separating pure alkaline or volatile spirits and salts from water, oil, and volatile earth. Cucurbits are more used for digesting and subliming, than for distilling. See Dictionary of Chemistry.
Cucurbita citrullus. See Citrullus.