Diagnostic Description

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Herbaceous vines, monoecious, with axillary tendrils; latex watery. Leaves alternate, petiolate; blades entire, dentate or palmatilobed; stipules absent. Flowers unisexual, actinomorphic, solitary or in axillary fascicles; calyx campanulate, with 5 minute lobes; corolla yellow, campanulate; staminate flowers with a pistillode and 3 stamens, the filaments adnate to the base of the corolla, the anthers concrescent or free, distally with the connective prolonged into an appendage; pistillate flowers with 3 staminodia; ovary inferior, trilocular, with numerous horizontal ovules, the style with 3-5 stigmatic branches, bilobed. Fruit an ellipsoid or cylindrical berry, fleshy; seeds numerous, elliptical. An Old World genus of about 30 species, some of which are widely cultivated for their edible fruits.



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