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cucumbers and cantaloupe Cucumis and Cucumella (Cucurbitaceae):
Cucumbers and Melons


J.H. Kirkbride, Jr. and M.J. Dallwitz
The genus Cucumis L. (Cucurbitaceae) includes two major commercial vegetable crops, cucumbers and melons, and two minor ones, the West Indian gherkin and the kiwano. The former are also common elements in home gardens. The databases accessible here, have 34 species, six subspecies, and two varieties of Cucumis and 11 Cucumella species, all the known taxa of these two genera. The following characters are recorded for each taxon: 59 vegetative, 137 floral, 25 fruit, 13 seed, one cytological, eight distributional, and 15 metadata. The data are stored in DELTA format and were converted to a binary format for interactive identification and queries using the INTKEY software program of CSIRO. Complete collection data is recorded for each collection intensively studied. Quick links for advanced users:
bullet Use Internet Identification System
bullet Download INTKEY installation file
bullet Download database and images (zip file)
bullet Query specimen locality data
bullet View tutorial

Using morphological and distributional characters, Cucumis and Cucumella specimens can be identified to genus, species, or subspecies or variety when appropriate. The data can also be queried to obtain information about a particular taxon, a group of taxa, or the characters used.

The data can be used in two ways: over the Internet or locally on your PC.

1. Internet. After utilizing the data, you may save it to your hard disk.

Use the Internet Identification System

To use the Internet Identification System, you must be using a PC running Windows 95/NT or later, and have installed the program INTKEY.

Download the latest INTKEY installation file

The INTKEY installation file download will create the executable file, "intk32.exe", on your hard drive and will occupy 2.09 MB of storage space. Save the file in any folder, and run it to install INTKEY. The "intk32.exe" file may then be deleted from your hard drive.


2. Local. The data, images, and descriptions can be downloaded together as a self-extracting zip file, Cucumis.exe.

Download Zip File

After the file is on your hard disk, execute the file to decompress the database and images. To access the data, images, and descriptions, start the INTKEY software program of CSIRO. In the first window, 'Select data set', browse to the directory in which the data is stored, pick the file 'intkey.ini', and 'Open' the data set.

The Cucumis and Cucumella image collection can also be downloaded as a self extracting zip file: Download Images.


Tutorial

A short tutorial provides the following information:

bullet Screen layout and toolbars of INTKEY

bullet How to perform simple identifications and data queries

bullet INTKEY's advanced mode and operating system and hardware requirements

bullet Contacts for the database and INTKEY software


Specimen Localities

Cucumis and Cucumella Collection Search allows access to collection data for a particular collection or all of the collection data for a particular taxon.

For the Cucumis monograph and the Cucumella revision, more than 5,880 specimens were borrowed or examined. Only those specimens which were examined in detail, contributing to the morphological database, and had adequate collection data were recorded in the database. All together 3,889 collections, encompassing 5,032 specimens, are recorded in the database. Some collections had duplicate specimens deposited in more than one institution resulting in fewer collections than specimens. The sources are identified by their herbarium acronyms as listed in Index Herbariorum. Few labels had latitude and longitude, so those were obtained from various sources, including geographical references, country gazetteers of the United States Board on Geographic Names, and the PRECIS (PRE Computerized Information System) database of the Botanical Research Institute, Pretoria, South Africa.




Questions about web site: Joseph.Kirkbride@ars.usda.gov
Page last updated 16 March 2012


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