Woody climber or trailer reaching 15 m, with dioecious sex system and large tuberous rootstock (up to 25 cm in diameter and 1 m long). The leaves are simple, broadly ovate, entire to palmately 3-5(-7)-lobed, the tendrils are bifid and up to 20 cm long. The flowers are produced in racemes, often with a coaxillary solitary flower. The receptacle-tube is very short, broad, shallow, the five sepals are small. The five petals are entire, free, yellowish to orange and arranged in a rotate corolla. The five stamens are inserted near the mouth of the tube on free filaments. The anthers are all monothecous with triplicate thecae and small pollen (polar axis c. 38 µm, equatorial axis c. 40 µm), tricolporate, reticulate (Khunwasi 1998). The female flowers have 7 mm long sepals and petals to 12 mm long, 5 mm broad. The ovaries are ellipsoid to cylindrical with many horizontal ovules, fleshy style, 7-8 mm long and globular stigmata. The fruits are globose, c. 2.5 cm across, with persistent style and calyx, in racemes with up to eight fruits, with strong gourd-like odour. The seeds are c. 5 mm long with smooth testa.
The only species, B. racemosa, grows in lowland rainforest in tropical Central and West Africa (Nigeria, Gabon, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Congo).
Phylogenetically, Bambekea is sister to Eureiandra and the two form the earliest branching clade in the tribe Coniandreae (Schaefer & Renner 2011).
Bambecea racemosa Cogn., Bull. Jard. Bot. État 5: 116. 1916.
Khunwasi, C. 1998. Palynology of the Cucurbitaceae. Doctoral Dissertation Naturwiss. Fak., University of Innsbruck.
Schaefer, H. and S.S. Renner. 2011. Phylogenetic relationships in the order Cucurbitales and a new classification of the gourd family (Cucurbitaceae). Taxon 60: 122-138.