Submitted to: Cucumis and Cucumella (Cucurbitaceae): Interactive Identification & Queries
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: November 15, 2000
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: The important horticultural crops of cucumbers, melons and gherkins belong to the vascular plant genus Cucumis and its close relative Cucumella in the Cucurbitaceae or squash family. In order to improve and diversify the varieties of melons and cucumbers available in the marketplace, wild plant germplasm must be located and accurately identified. This research makes available over the Internet interactive keys for the identification of wild and domesticated plants. These keys will be used by plant explorers and breeders seeking germplasm that can be used to produce sweeter and longer lasting melons.
This Internet publication is an interactive database containing all species and infraspecific taxa of the genera Cucumis and Cucumella of the family Cucurbitaceae, which includes the melons, cucumber, and their closest relatives. There are 34 species, six subspecies, and two varieties of Cucumis and 11 species of Cucumella in the database. The following data are accessible for each taxon: 59 vegetative characters, 12 inflorescence characters, 125 flower characters, 25 fruit characters, 13 seed characters, one cytological character, eight distributional characters, and extensive synonymy and notes. Cucumber and melon specimens can be identified using any of the above characters, that is, those that are easiest to use or available on the specimen. The database can also be queried for customized information on cucumber and melon taxa. This database is for scientists and technicians dealing with cucumbers and melons, such as germplasm curators, agronomists working on improvement and germplasm collectors.