Actual Status and Phytogeography of the Species of the Endemic Family Cucurbitaceae of Mexico

Faculty of Superior Studies Iztacala, UNAM
Biology, Technology and Prototypes Unit (UBIPRO)
Research and Graduate Division
Av. de los Barrios s/n
Col. Los Reyes Iztacala
54090 Tlalnepantla, Edo. de Mexico, Mexico.
Phone: 5623 1152
Fax 5623 1193

Dr. Rafael Lira Saade
Head of the Project
Laboratory of Natural Resources
Phone: 5623 1137


Cucurbitacea family is represented in Mexico by 135 taxa grouped in 38 genera within the two subfamilies valid at the moment: Cucurbitoideae, with 36 genera and Zanonioideae, represented only by Chalema and Sicydium genera. This diversity data is higher than that recorded at other Latin-American countries. From the phytogeographic view, the most relevant point of this group in our country is its pronounced endemism. Five genera (13.1%) and 64 species or sub-specific taxa (48.8% of total species and 55.9% considering only native wild taxa), exist only within the geographical limits all over the country and some of them are known at only one or few states of Mexico. Some of these species are related to some degree with crops of economic and cultural importance and other species are used by the habitants from rural communities for one or more purposes.

This database includes 4 613 specimens corresponding to one family, 37 genera and 135 species collected in 3 516 localities and it pertains to the SNIB.


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