The plants of the Gourd Family are rapid-growing herbs, mostly vines with succulent stems and tendrils. The leaves are alternate, lobed and palmately veined. The flowers have 5 united petals, although there may be 6 or 7 in Marah, and are of two sexes on the same or different plants. The stamens are seemingly 3, but really 5 with two pairs united. The ovary is inferior and the fruit is a fleshy, berry-like structure with a rind and a spongy interior that is called a "pepo."
Melons, pumpkins and squash belong to this family as well as the gourds for which it is named. (Dale 103).