Monoecious prostrate perennial with woody rootstock. Stems several to many fairly slender to stout, canescent, not much branched, in the young parts puberulous to shortly hispid, later glabrous, usually scabrid, up to at least 2 m long. Leaves rigid and fragile, ovate to broadly suborbicular in outline, with strongly recurved margins, canescent, usually glabrous, rather smooth above, except on the shortly setose-hispid main nerves, at first shortly setose-scabrid, later callous-scabrid and white-punctate mainly near the margins below, 2-6 cm in diam., 3-5-fid nearly to the base; segments strongly lobulate, more or less rounded at the apex, crisped along the margin; petioles fairly stout, greyish, shortly and densely setose, 0.5-2 cm long. Tendrils 0. Male flowers: pedicel finely setose-hispid to glabrous, 0.5-3 cm long; receptacle shortly and rather sparsely setose-hispid, 5-6 mm long; sepals shortly setose, erect, narrowly triangular, 1.5-3.5 mm long; petals yellow, obovate, rather densely and shortly pubescent outside, 7-10 mm long. Female flowers: peduncles rather stout, 1-3 cm long; ovary narrowly ovoid or ellipsoid, shortly and thinly pubescent, 15-25 mm long. Fruit subglobose, green mottled with lighter green turning concolorous, yellow, glabrous, 8-15 cm in diam., with whitish very bitter pulp. Seeds black or brown, ovate in outline compressed, 8 mm long.
Monoecious, scabrid-hairy, perennial herb, with woody rootstock and prostrate stems, up to more than 2 m long, without tendrils. Leaves ± cordate, up to 95 mm long, deeply dissected, crinkled. Male and female flowers solitary in leaf axils, 7-10 mm long, yellow. Fruit subglobose, 80-150 mm diam., glabrous, mottled green, maturing yellow. Whole plant very bitter and poisonous, except edible and nutritious seeds.