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This genus is accepted, and its native range is Mexico to Tropical America, W. Tropical Africa to Somalia, Indian Subcontinent, Australia.
A specimen from Kew's Herbarium

[FZ]

Cucurbitaceae, C. Jeffrey. Flora Zambesiaca 4. 1978

Morphology General Habit
Annual prostrate or scandent herbs.
Morphology Leaves
Leaves simple, petiolate.
Morphology General Tendrils
Tendrils proximally 2–6-fid.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Receptacle
Receptacle-tube broadly campanulate; lobes large, enclosing the petals in bud, entire.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Petals 5, free, entire.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens
Stamens 5, all one-thecous, or 3, 2 two-thecous & 1 one-thecous; filaments inserted on the receptacle-tube, free; anthers free; connectives broad; thecae much convoluted.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Female flowers solitary; ovary smooth, ribbed, tuberculate or spiny; ovules many, horizontal; stigma 3-lobed. Male flowers racemose. Flowers yellow or whitish, monoecious.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Fruit globose to cylindrical, rostrate, smooth, ribbed or spiny, dry, brownish, fibrous, dehiscent by an apical operculum.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seeds compressed, oblong-elliptic in outline.

[FSOM]

M. Thulin et al. Flora of Somalia, Vol. 1-4 [updated 2008] https://plants.jstor.org/collection/FLOS

Morphology General Habit
Annual climbing or trailing herbs
Morphology Leaves
Leaves simple
Morphology General Tendrils
Tendrils 2–6-fid
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Male flowers racemose Monoecious or dioecious
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Hypanthium
Hypanthium broadly campanulate
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Sepals 5, large, enclosing the petals in bud
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Petals 5, free, yellow or white
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens
Stamens 5, all one-thecous, or 3, 2 two-thecous, 1 one-thecous, inserted on the hypanthium, free; connective broad; thecae convoluted
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Female flowers solitary
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Ovary
Ovary smooth, ribbed or spiny
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Ovary Ovules
Ovules numerous, horizontal
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Fruit dry, brownish, fibrous, smooth, ribbed or spiny, dehiscent by an apical lid
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seeds compressed, black.
Distribution
Nine species, palaeotropical and neotropical.

[FTEA]

Cucurbitaceae, C. Jeffrey. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 1967

Morphology General Habit
Climbing or trailing herbs
Morphology Leaves
Leaves simple; blade palmately lobed
Morphology General Tendrils
Tendrils proximally 3–6-fid, less often bifid
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Flowers medium to large yellow, monoecious Male flowers racemose; receptacle-tube shortly campanulate; lobes relatively large, enclosing petals in bud, entire; petals 5, free, entire; stamens 5, all 1-thecous, in 2 pairs with one single, or the paired stamens variously united, when completely so stamens appearing as 3, 2 double 2-thecous, 1 single 1-thecous; filaments inserted on the tube, free; anthers free; connective broad; thecae marginal, much convoluted Female flowers solitary; ovary smooth, ribbed, tuberculate or spiny; ovules many, horizontal; receptacle-tube short; stigmas 3, bilobed
sex Male
Male flowers racemose; receptacle-tube shortly campanulate; lobes relatively large, enclosing petals in bud, entire; petals 5, free, entire; stamens 5, all 1-thecous, in 2 pairs with one single, or the paired stamens variously united, when completely so stamens appearing as 3, 2 double 2-thecous, 1 single 1-thecous; filaments inserted on the tube, free; anthers free; connective broad; thecae marginal, much convoluted
sex Female
Female flowers solitary; ovary smooth, ribbed, tuberculate or spiny; ovules many, horizontal; receptacle-tube short; stigmas 3, bilobed
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Fruit medium-sized to large, subglobose to elongate-cylindrical, beaked, smooth, ribbed or sparsely to densely spiny with short to rather long spines, brownish, dry and fibrous, dehiscent by an apical operculum
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seeds medium-sized, distinctly compressed, oblong-elliptic in outline
Figures
Fig. 10.

Native to:

Assam, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Brazil North, Brazil Northeast, Brazil Southeast, Cameroon, Chad, Colombia, Costa Rica, East Himalaya, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ethiopia, French Guiana, Galápagos, Guatemala, Guyana, India, Mali, Mauritania, Mexico Gulf, Mexico Northwest, Mexico Southeast, Mexico Southwest, Nepal, Netherlands Antilles, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Northern Territory, Pakistan, Panamá, Peru, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Trinidad-Tobago, Venezuela, West Himalaya, Western Australia

Introduced into:

Albania, Andaman Is., Angola, Argentina Northeast, Argentina Northwest, Benin, Bismarck Archipelago, Brazil South, Burkina, Burundi, Cambodia, Caroline Is., Central African Repu, Chagos Archipelago, China South-Central, China Southeast, Comoros, Congo, Cook Is., Cuba, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Eritrea, Fiji, Florida, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Gulf of Guinea Is., Gulf States, Hainan, Haiti, Illinois, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Jawa, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Korea, Laos, Leeward Is., Lesser Sunda Is., Liberia, Louisiana, Malawi, Maldives, Maluku, Marianas, Marquesas, Mauritius, Mexico Central, Mozambique, Nauru, New Caledonia, New Guinea, Nicobar Is., North Carolina, Oman, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Rwanda, Réunion, Samoa, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Society Is., Solomon Is., South Carolina, Southwest Caribbean, Tadzhikistan, Tanzania, Texas, Thailand, Tonga, Transcaucasus, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuelan Antilles, Vietnam, Virginia, Wallis-Futuna Is., Windward Is., Yemen, Zambia, Zaïre, Zimbabwe

Luffa Mill. appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
s.coll. [Cat. no. s.n.] K001132351

First published in Gard. Dict. Abr. ed. 4: s.p. (1754)

Accepted by

  • Govaerts, R., Nic Lughadha, E., Black, N., Turner, R. & Paton, A. (2021). The World Checklist of Vascular Plants, a continuously updated resource for exploring global plant diversity. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41597-021-00997-6 Scientific Data 8: 215.

Literature

Flora of West Tropical Africa

  • —F.T.A. 2: 530.

Flora Zambesiaca

  • Gard. Diet, abridg. ed. 4 (1754).

Flora of Somalia

  • Flora Somalia, Vol 1, (1993) Author: by C. Jeffrey & M. Thulin [updated by M. Thulin 2008]

Flora of Tropical East Africa

  • Gard. Dict., Abridg. ed. 4 [without pagination] (1754)

Flora Zambesiaca
Flora Zambesiaca
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

Flora of Somalia
Flora of Somalia
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

Flora of Tropical East Africa
Flora of Tropical East Africa
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Kew Backbone Distributions
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
© Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
© Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0