Sp. Pl. 2: 1011. 1753.
Plants dioecious, roots thin, without thick, woody rootstock. Tendrils setose. Leaves: petiole hispid to setose; blade broadly to narrowly ovate, deeply palmately 3–5-lobed to weakly 3-lobed or nearly unlobed, [sometimes pedately lobed], 3–12 (–15) × 2.5–12 (–15) cm, length 0.9–1 (–2) times width, base cordate, lobes broadly elliptic to obovate, spatulate, or ovate, margins serrate or entire. Inflorescences: pedicels of pistillate flowers distally dilated; staminate flowers 3–10 in racemes, pedunculate or sessile; pistillate flowers: calyx lobes 2–4 mm, petals 6–8 mm, corolla-tube 0–1 mm, sparsely puberulent inside. Pepos light yellowish green to light yellow, sometimes with light green stripes, usually ellipsoid, rarely obovoid, 2–7 × 1.5–4 cm, surfaces ± aculeate at maturity, flesh greenish white to yellowish green. 2n = 24.
Ala., Calif., Fla., Ga., Mass., Mont., N.Y., Tex., Africa, Atlantic Islands (Cape Verde Islands), also in Mexico, West Indies, Central America, South America, Pacific Islands (Marquesas Islands), Australia
Varieties 2 (2 in the flora).