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The Gourd family is as easy to recognize as pumpkins and squash. Look closely at one of these flowers and you will know the family. Male and female parts are borne on separate funnel-shaped flowers. There are 5 separate sepals and 5 united petals (rarely 6 of each). The 5 (sometimes 3) stamens of the male flower are often twisted together. In the pistillate (female) flower, the ovary is positioned inferior and consists of 3 united carpels (sometimes 4, as in Echinocystis) with the partition walls present, forming an equal number of chambers. (You will see the pattern when you cut across a zucchini or other fruit.) The plants form prostrate or climbing vines.
Key Words: Vining plants with tendrils.
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