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Annual or perennial climbing herbs. Leaves entire or 3-9 lobed, denticulate. Tendrils simple or 2-5 fid. Flowers usually white, rarely pink or red, dioecious, rarely monoecious. Male flowers: usually in racemes, calyx tube cylindric, lobes 5, serrate or laciniate, corolla 5-lobed, lobes oblong, fimbriate, stamens 3, inserted at the calyx tube, very short, free, anthers connate. Female flowers: solitary, very rarely in racemes, calyx and corolla as in the male, ovary inferior, ovoid or fusiform, style slender, stigmas 3, entire or bifid. Fruits fleshy, globose, ovoid or fusiform, many-seeded, indehiscent. Seeds packed in pulp, ellipsoid or angular.

Key to the species

Serial Key Reference
1a. Leaves not felty tomentose 2
1b. Leaves felty tomentose; calyx tube 8-12 cm long T. listeri
2a. Male flowers in racemes, anthers connate 3
2b. Male flowers solitary or bijugate, anthers free T. dioica
3a. Male racemes minutely bracteate or ebracteate 5
3b. Male racems with large bracts; calyx segments broader, shortly dentate 4
4a. Calyx segment dentate or laciniate T. tricuspidata
4b. Calyx segments entire T. cordata
5a. Fruits up to 1.5 m long with white stripes T. anguina
5b. Fruits ovoid, 5-7 cm long T. cucumerina