Annual, biennial or perennial climbers or trailers with up to 5 m long, herbaceous shoots, fibrous or tuberous roots, and dioecious sex system. The leaves are simple, petiolate, with simple or pedately (3-)5-9(-11)-foliolate, ovate to subcircular blade. The tendrils are apically bifid, rarely simple. The flowers are small. Male flowers are produced in racemes or thyrses, female flowers in racemes or fascicles, often with 1-2 small tendrils on the peduncle close to the flowers. The receptacle-tube is saucer-shaped with five oblong or lanceolate sepals. The corolla is variable in form with five oblong, ovate or lanceolate, white petals. The five stamens are inserted near the center of the tube on short, free, diverging filaments. The anthers are all monothecous, the thecae are straight or curved and contain tricolporate, striate, small pollen (polar axis 33-40 µm, equatorial axis 21-32 µm, (Khunwasi 1998, De Wilde et al. 2007)). The ovary is turbinate or subclavate, trilocular at apex and monolocular at base. containing few, pendent ovules. The three short styles are crowned with bifid stigmata. The fruit is foveolate with up to 12, compressed, ellipsoid seeds. The testa is tubercled or scrobiculate, mostly with encircling woody (rarely membraneous) wing, uniform in width or expanded along the chalaza-micropyle axis. The chromosome number is n = 16 (Thakur and Sinha 1973).
Two species, growing on mountain slopes, in evergreen and deciduous forest or in open scrub in Asia.
The genus is placed in tribe Gomphogyneae, where it is sister group to Hemsleya (Schaefer & Renner 2011).
Gomphogyne cissiformis Griff., Bot. Coll. Cantor 26. 1845.
Gomphogyne nepalensis W.J. de Wilde & Duyfjes, Thai Forest Bull., Bot. 35: 60. 2007.
De Wilde, W. J. J. O., Duyfjes B. E. E. and R. W. J. M. van der Ham. 2007. Revision of the genus Gomphogyne (Cucurbitaceae). Thai For. Bull. (Bot.) 35: 45-68.
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.
Schaefer, H., Heibl, C., and S.S. Renner. 2009. Gourds afloat: a dated phylogeny reveals an Asian origin of the gourd family (Cucurbitaceae) and numerous oversea dispersal events. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 276: 843-851.
Thakur, G. K. and B. M. B. Sinha. 1973. Cytological investigation in some cucurbits. J. Cytol. Gen. 7-8: 122-130.