Herbs, usually monoecious, climbing by tendrils. Leaves alternate, usually palmately veined, without stipules. Flowers unisexual, regular, axillary. Calyx and corolla 5-lobed. Stamens 5, ± connate; anthers usually long, flexuous. Ovary inferior, 3–5-locular, with parietal placentas (rarely 1-locular with a basal ovule). Fruit usually indehiscent, berry-like sometimes called a ‘pepo’, rarely 1-seeded. 118 gen., mostly trop. and subtrop.