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(gôrd, go͝ord), common name for some members of the Cucurbitaceae, a family of plants whose range includes all tropical and subtropical areas and extends into the temperate zones. Almost all members of the family are annual herbs that grow as climbing or prostrate vines with spirally coiled tendrils. The characteristic large and fleshy fruit of many genera is often called a pepo; several genera have dry fruits, some with a single seed. The family is known for its many edible and otherwise useful plants. The name gourd is applied to those whose fruits have hard, durable shells used for ornament and as utensils, e.g., drinking cups, dippers, and bowls. The Old World genus Lagenaria includes the calabash, dipper, and bottle gourds. Luffa cylindrica is the loofah, dishcloth gourd, or vegetable sponge; when the edible fruit—called California okra in the S United States—is bleached dry, the inner fibrous network is used as a filter or a scrubbing sponge. Among the many other gourds are the serpent, or snake, gourd (Trichosanthes anguina) of Indomalaysia, whose slender fruit reaches 6 ft (1.8 m) in length. Many of the edible members of the family have been cultivated for so long—often since prehistoric times—that a single species may include several quite different varieties. Cucurbita includes the pumpkinpumpkin,
common name for the genus Cucurbita of the family Cucurbitaceae (gourd family), a group that includes the pumpkins and squashes—the names may be used interchangeably and without botanical distinction. C.
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, the vegetable marrow, and the summer squashes (all varieties of C. pepo); the winter squashes (varieties of C. maxima); and the crooknecks and the cheese pumpkin (varieties of C. moschata). Cucumis (see melonmelon,
fruit of Cucumis melo, a plant of the family Curcurbitaceae (gourd family) native to Asia and now cultivated extensively in warm regions. There are many varieties, differing in taste, color, and skin texture—e.g.
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) includes the cucumbers (C. sativus) and the gherkins (C. anguria); C. melo includes all melons except the watermelonwatermelon,
plant (Citrullus vulgaris) of the family Curcurbitaceae (gourd family) native to Africa and introduced to America by Africans transported as slaves. Watermelons are now extensively cultivated in the United States and are popular also in S Russia.
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, which, together with the citron, or preserving, melon, is Citrullis vulgaris. Of the few members of the family indigenous to the United States, the colocynth, or bitter-apple (Citrullis colocynthis), yields a powerful laxative from the dried pulp, and the wild balsam apple, or prickly cucumber (Echinocystis lobata), characteristically explodes when ripe, shooting out its seeds—as does the Mediterranean squirting cucumber (Ecballium elaterium). Bryony (two species of Bryonia), cultivated in Central Europe as a cover vine, has long been valued locally for the medicinal properties of its roots. The African genus Dendrosicyos is a unique member of the family in that it grows as a small, bushy tree. Gourds are classified in the division MagnoliophytaMagnoliophyta
, division of the plant kingdom consisting of those organisms commonly called the flowering plants, or angiosperms. The angiosperms have leaves, stems, and roots, and vascular, or conducting, tissue (xylem and phloem).
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, class Magnoliopsida, order Violales, family Cucurbitaceae.


See L. H. Bailey, The Garden of Gourds (1937); U.S. Dept. of Agriculture publications on melons and squash.



the fruit of any one of several cultivated plants of the family Cucurbitaceae. Gourds include the cucumber, the musk-melon, the watermelon, and squashes. Among the squashes are the winter squash, the winter crookneck, and the pumpkin (whose varieties include the yellow-flowered gourd and the bush pumpkin). Gourds are cultivated in all continents between 60° N lat. and 35° S lat. In northern regions they are grown in green houses and hothouses.


1. the fruit of any of various cucurbitaceous or similar plants, esp the bottle gourd and some squashes, whose dried shells are used for ornament, drinking cups, etc.
2. any plant that bears this fruit
3. a bottle or flask made from the dried shell of the bottle gourd
References in periodicals archive ?
This is because once the children saw the swan neck gourds, they instantly thought birds.
TIME: 1 1/2 hours for 6 gourds (depending on the intricacy of the patterns)
The party grew out of the 'Ili'oulaokani Coalition, a grass-roots environmental watchdog group that Takamine and other hula masters founded in 1997 after they forced state lawmakers to withdraw a bill that would have legislated out of existence dancers' rights to gather necessary hula materials--flowers, gourds, tree stumps for drumming--on undeveloped private property.
At a Sunday morning soccer match in the Entre Rios hamlet of San Gustavo, it seems everyone cradles thermoses and sip on gourds, from teens lounging on the grass to grandparents; even the parrilla man tends a grill full of meat with a mug in his free hand.
Enter the BARC scientists, with their armloads of melons, gourds, and other natural products.
In my search I came across some photographs of painted gourds that were used as bowls, cups, and other utensils.
AUBURN - For the fifth year in a row, thousands of pumpkins and gourds grown on a Navajo Nation reservation in New Mexico are for sale on the front lawn of the First Congregational Church at 128 Central St.
The Austin-based and previous Oregon Country Fair Main Stage act the Gourds return to the Shedd for a Wednesday concert.
3 -- color) Get out the gourds: For the centerpiece, she spray-painted gourds left over from Halloween and then dusted the silver gourds with a quick spray of copper paint, and the copper gourds with a quick dusting of silver paint.
Readers will follow the two girls as they are discovering themselves and their knack for the unexpected and wealth producing life of the successful entrepreneur, giving Gourd Girls a great and powerful intimacy as the community, their families, and their friends join the girls to create an inspiring unity amidst such an unlikely business as the growing and selling of gourds.
A recent family outing to Country Pumpkins in Caledonia provided colorful Cucurbita, large and miniature pumpkins, decorative and edible squash, and gourds that provided the inspiration for this tablescape.
I won't however, read only for recreation; I'll also dip into my library of books on herbs, gourds, painting and other subjects.