Some lesser known minor cucurbitaceous vegetables their distribution, diversity and uses
Indian subcontinent is rich with genetic diversity in vegetable crops. Several species of family cucurbitaceae are available locally. Many of them are cultivated or found as semi-domesticated in the areas of their distribution. The most important crop genera included Citrullus, Cucumis and Cucurbita. Some genera like Fevillea, Genostemma, Hemsleya, Actinostema, Bulbostemma, Cucumeropsis, Cucumis, Momordica, Siraitia, Telfairia, Hodgsonia, Gemnopetalum, Trichosanthes, Acanthosicyas, Bemincasa, Bryonia or Coccinia, Citrullus, Diplocyclos, Echallium, Praecitrullus, Cayaponia, Cucurbita, Sicana, Cyclanthera, Echinocystis and Sechium and a large number of wild species have not only contributed towards food but also are rich genepool for important traits. These prized materials alongwith their close wild relative serve as genetic stocks by plant breeders for the development of improved vegetable varieties. With drastic increase in the world population, there is a great need to explore newer sources of vegetables. In this paper, diversity available in some minor/lesser known vegetables of the family Cucurbitaceae along with brief description has been illustrated. A check list of species with common names/local names, frequency and place of cultivation and uses is also included. This information will be very useful in screening newer sources of vegetables for present and future needs.
Cucutbitaceae, minot vegetables, Fevillea, Cucumis, Trichosanthes, Cyclanthera, Sechium, Coccnia, Momordica, distribution, diversity, uses.