Momordica charantia L.
  • Sp. Pl.
  • balsamina


Cite taxon page as 'WFO (2021): Momordica charantia L. Published on the Internet;http://www.worldfloraonline.org/taxon/wfo-0000376916. Accessed on: 26 Sep 2021'

General Information

Plants annual, scandent, many branched; stem and branches pubescent. Tendrils to 20 cm, puberulent, simple. Petiole slender, 4-6 cm, white pubescent at first, glabrescent; leaf blade ovate-reniform or suborbicular, 4-12 × 4-12 cm, membranous, puberulent on veins, 5-7-partite; lobes ovate-oblong, veins palmate, margin crenate or irregularly lobed, apex obtuse or acute; sinus semicircular. Plants monoecious. Male flowers solitary in axils of leaves; pedicel slender, 3-7 cm, puberulent, with a median bract; bract reniform or orbicular, 5-15 mm, entire, both surfaces puberulent; calyx segments ovate-lanceolate, 4-6 × 2-3 mm, white pubescent, apex acute; corolla yellow; segments obovate, 15-20 × 8-12 mm, pubescent, obtuse or retuse; stamens 3, free; anther cells conduplicate. Female flowers solitary; pedicel 10-12 cm, with a bract at base; ovary fusiform, densely verrucose; stigmas expanded, 2-lobed. Fruit orange when mature, fusiform or cylindric, 10-20 cm, verrucose, 3-valved from apex. Seeds numerous, oblong, 15-20 × 10-15 cm. Fl. and fr. May-Oct.

  • Provided by: [N].Flora Of CHina @ efloras.org
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    1. Momordica charantia L., Sp. Pl. 1009 (1753). Lectotipo (designado por Jeffrey, 1967): Herb. Clifford, 451, Momordica 2 (BM!). Ilustr.: M. Nee, Fl. Veracruz 74: 93, t. 15 (1993). N.v.: cunde amor, melo de ratón, papayiyo, pepino cimarrón, balsam-apple, pepinillo.

    Por R.J. Hampshire.

    Bejucos, hasta 6 m, muy ramificados y enredándose entre arbustos y hierbas; tallos delgados, pelosos a glabrescentes. Hojas 4-11 cm, orbiculares, profundamente 3-5(-7)-lobadas, los lobos constrictos basalmente, cartáceas, las nervaduras pelosas, profundamente cordatas, remota y toscamente dentadas, agudas, mucronadas, puncteadas; pecíolos 1.5-4.5(-6) cm. Flores solitarias; pedúnculos (3-)4.5-9 cm, bracteadas; brácteas 3-8(-20) mm de diámetro, generalmente por debajo de la mitad del pedúnculo, reniformes. Hipanto de las flores estaminadas peloso, cilíndrico-campanulado; lobos del cáliz 2.5-4 mm, ovados; corola 7-15 mm, amarilla; filamentos 1-1.5 mm; anteras 2-2.5 mm. Flores pistiladas pedunculadas y con el perianto como en las flores pistiladas, pero los lobos del cáliz más angostos; ovario fusiforme, rostrado, puberulento en líneas, tuberculado, los tubérculos glabros; estilo 2-3.5 mm; estigmas 3, 2-lobados. Frutos 3-12 cm, fusiformes, rostrados, carnosos, generalmente explota al madurar en 3 valvas recurvadas, anaranjado brillante; semillas numerosas, 8-16 × 4-9 mm, oblongas, ligeramente aplanadas, negras con formas como alas pardo oscuras, la pulpa rojo brillante. Orillas de caminos, bordes de ríos, vegetación secundaria. T ( Novelo et al. 22, BM); Ch ( Breedlove y Thorne 20719, MO); Y ( Duran et al. 3462, MO); C ( Alvaro y Alvarez 742, MO); QR ( Téllez y Cabrera 2385, BM); B ( Whitefoord 2360, BM); G ( Ortíz 2012, BM); H ( Blackmore y Chorley 3687, BM); ES ( Linares 2595, MO); ES ( Linares 2595, MO); N ( Hamblett et al. 1113, BM); CR ( Khan et al. 440, BM); P ( Seeman s.n., BM). 0-500(-700) m. (Nativa de los trópicos del Viejo Mundo; ampliamente naturalizada en la región neotropical.)

    Dieterle (1976) registra a Momordica balsamina L. como ocasionalmente cultivada en América y Wunderlin (1978) la registra como una hierba de las regiones tropicales y subtropicales del Viejo Mundo, pero no se ha visto ningún ejemplar de Mesoamérica.

  • Provided by: [M].Flora Mesoamericana
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    Momordica charantia L., Sp. Pl. 1009. 1753.

    Plantas anuales, trepadoras o rastreras, delgadas a robustas; tallos acostillados, casi glabros a crespo-pubescentes o vellosos; monoicas. Hojas de contorno ampliamente ovado a circular, 1–15 cm de largo y 2–16 cm de ancho, cordadas, membranosas, crespo-pubescentes o híspidas a casi glabras, profundamente 3–7-palmatilobadas, los lobos graciosamente recurvados, el central más grande, ampliamente obovado a elíptico o lanceolado, sinuado-lobulado o sinuado, denticulado, apiculado; pecíolos 0.4–8.5 cm de largo, casi glabros a vellosos; zarcillos no ramificados. Flores solitarias y axilares; flores estaminadas en pedúnculos 0.6–4.5 cm de largo, apicalmente bracteados, bráctea sésil, redondeada, 1–16 mm de largo y 1–22 mm de ancho, apiculada, cordada, verde, distante de la flor, pedicelos excediendo el pedúnculo, 2.2–9.2 cm de largo, hipanto campanulado-obcónico, 2–5.5 mm de largo, sépalos 5, ovados, 2.5–6 mm de largo, cortamente acuminados, pétalos 5, libres, obovado-oblongos, 7–20 mm de largo, amarillos, estambres 3, anteras cohesionadas, tecas 3-plegadas; flores pistiladas en pedicelos de 0.5–7.5 cm de largo, pedicelos frecuentemente con una bráctea pequeña en su mitad inferior, hipanto muy corto, sépalos lanceolados, 1.5–5 mm de largo, pétalos 6–13 mm de largo, ovario elipsoide, rostrado, tuberculado, 6–12 mm de largo, placentas 3, óvulos numerosos, horizontales, estigmas 3. Fruto elipsoide, 2–12.5 cm de largo y 1–4 cm de ancho, rostrado, tuberculado, carnoso, péndulo, anaranjado, dehiscente en 3 valvas cuando maduro, pedúnculo 1–12 cm de largo; semillas oblongas, 8–14 mm de largo, 4.2–8.2 mm de ancho y 2–3.5 mm de grueso, cuando frescas envueltas en una pulpa rojo brillante, cafés, sus caras labradas.

    Muy común como maleza en todas las zonas del país, especialmente abundante en los márgenes de lagos; 0–1000 m; fl y fr durante todo el año; Araquistain 1862, Guzmán 1516; nativa de los Paleotrópicos, a veces cultivada, naturalizada en América tropical. Un género paleotropical con cerca de 40 especies. "Comida de culebra", "Sorosí".

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    Leaves simple, reniform. to suborbicular, 5- to 7-lobate to the middle or beyond, 3-6(-12) cm long and wide, the lobes oblong to spatulate, the apex obtuse and mucronate, the base cordate, the margin with obtuse to subacute teeth, submembranaceous to chartaceous, the upper surface minutely glandular, puberulent, at least on the veins; petiole 1-6 cm long, slender, striate; tendrils simple. Staminate flowers solitary, axillary; peduncle slender, 4-15 cm long, pubescent to puberulent, 5-lobate to near the middle, the lobes ovate lanceolate, 4-9 mm long, acute; corolla yellow, 5-lobate, the lobes oblong obovate, ca. 1 cm long, the apex obtuse to emarginate, pubescent on the outer surface and on the upper edge of the inner with both simple and glandular hairs, prominently 5- to 9-nerved; stamens 3, the filaments free, 2-3 mm long, the anthers 3, thecas flexu- ous, connate, forming an irregular head, ultimately free. Pistillate flowers soli- tary, axillary; peduncle 5-10 cm long, slender, pubescent, bearing a minute sub- basal bract; calyx and corolla similar to those of the staminate flower; ovary fusiform, rostrate, tuberculate, pubescent, the styles 3, connate, 2-3 mm long, the stigmas 3, each 2-lobate. Fruit bright orange red, ovoid to fusiform, long rostrate, 4-8 cm long, 2-4 cm in diameter, the surface with obtuse to acute tubercles, glabrate, 3-carpellate, 3-valvate, the valves curling back to expose the bright red aril surrounding each seed; seeds numerous in each carpel, oblong, 8-10 mm long, 4-6 mm wide, moderately compressed, slightly 3-toothed at both ends, the testa rugulose.

  • Provided by: [P].Flora de Panama
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    Bejuco rastrero a trepador (y a veces colgante), monoico; tallos 5-surcados, los zarcillos simples o birramificados. Hojas simples, 1.5–10 X 2–9.5 cm, ampliamente ovadas a suborbiculares, profunda y palmadamente 3–9-lobuladas, de otra forma obtusa a subagudamente dentadas, sin glándulas laminares. Infls. de 1 fl. solitaria. Fls. con el hipanto someramente cupulado o infundibuliforme; sépalos 5; pétalos 5, amarillentos, connatos en una corola rotada o campanulada, los lóbulos 6–13 mm; estambres (fls. estaminadas) (2)3, los filamentos separados; anteras connatas, triplegadas; estaminodios (fls. pistiladas) 3, glanduliformes; estilo 1; estigmas 3, bilobulados. Frs. rojo anaranjado cuando maduros, 2–5.5 cm, oblongoides o fusi- formes, carnosos, tuberculados, dehiscentes en 3 válvulas, con 3 placentas; semillas numerosas, oblongoides, ± comprimidas, esculturadas, cubiertas por una pulpa roja.

  • Provided by: [F].Manual de Plantas de Costa Rica
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    Annual, monoecious, climber or trailer with unbranched tendrils. Stem glabrous or hairy. Leaves suborbicular to orbicular, 5-10(-12) cm long and broad, mucronate-dentate, deeply 5-7-lobed, lobes ovate-oblong or ovate-elliptic, glabrous or pubescent, acute, base constricted. Petiole 1.5-3.5 (-6) cm long, villous. Flowers yellow, c. 3 cm across, solitary, male peduncles c. 7.0 cm long, bearing the bracts about the middle or below the middle. Calyx pubescent. Corolla slightly zygomorphic, with obovate, obtuse lobes. Ovary fusiform, muricate. Fruit oblong-fusiform or oval, 7-25 cm long, dehiscent. Seeds oblong, 1-1.5 cm long, 6-9 mm broad, embedded in red pulp, sculptured.

  • Provided by: [K].Flora of Pakistan
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    Diagnostic Description

    Leaves simple, deeply palmately 3-7-lobed. Tendrils simple, unbranched. Fruit bright orange-red, with longitudinal rows of larger tubercles and with smaller interstitial tubercles.

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    Morphology

    Climber, flowers yellow

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    Fruit ripening orange, 2–3 in. long, bursting in 3 valves to expose the carmine red seeds

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    Seeds 8–11 × 4·5–8 × 2–3·5 mm., enveloped in sticky red pulp, ovate-elliptic to oblong in outline; faces flattened, sculptured, with sinuate edges; margins grooved.

  • Provided by: [I].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FZ
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    Fruit 2·5–4·8(11) × 1·5–2·3(4) cm., ovoid-rostrate or ellipsoid, longitudinally ribbed and tuberculate, bright orange-red, dehiscent into 3 valves; fruit-stalk 3·4–15 cm. long.

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    Female flowers: peduncle 0·2–5 cm. long; bract 1–12 mm. long; pedicel 1–10 cm. long; ovary 8–11(30) × 2–4 mm., ovoid-rostrate to fusi-form, ridged, pilose on ridges, tuberculate; receptacle-tube 1–3 mm. long, lobes 2–5 mm. long, lanceolate; petals 0·7–1·2 cm. long.

  • Provided by: [I].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FZ
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    male flowers: peduncle 0·3–5 cm. long; bract 2–17 mm. long, broadly ovate or reniform, sessile, cordate, amplexicaul, obtuse or retuse, apiculate, green; pedicel 2–9·5 cm. long. Receptacle-tube 1–5 mm. long; lobes 3–7 mm. long, ovate-lanceolate. Petals 1·0–2·5 cm. long, pale to deep yellow, ovate to obovate.

  • Provided by: [I].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FZ
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    Flowers monoecious, solitary.

  • Provided by: [I].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FZ
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    Tendrils simple.

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    Petiole 0·5–7 cm. long.

  • Provided by: [I].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FZ
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    Leaf-lamina 1–10 × 1–12·5 cm., broadly ovate to orbicular in outline, cordate, narrowly decurrent on to petiole, punctate and sparsely pubescent to densely villous on veins beneath, sparsely hirsute especially on veins above, deeply palmately 3–7-lobed, lobes variously sinuate-dentate or lobulate, acute to retuse, apiculate.

  • Provided by: [I].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FZ
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    Stems prostrate or scandent to 5 m., sparsely to densely crispate-pubescent or villous, especially at nodes.

  • Provided by: [I].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FZ
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    Seeds oblong, ± 8–11 × 4.5–6 × 2.5–3.5 mm.; testa sculptured; margins grooved.

  • Provided by: [E].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FTEA
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    Annual climber or trailer to 5 m.

  • Provided by: [E].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FTEA
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    Stems herbaceous, ridged, glabrous or hairy, strap-shaped at the base.

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    Leaf-blade broadly ovate-reniform or orbicular in outline, cordate, 25–100 mm. long, 30–125 mm. broad, glabrous or pubescent (especially on the nerves) on both surfaces, deeply palmately (3–)5(–7)-lobed; lobes obovate, ovate-elliptic or rhombic in outline, narrowed towards the base, acute and apiculate, sinuate-toothed and unlobed or more usually sinuate-lobulate; petioles 14–70 mm. long.

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    Tendrils simple.

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    Male flowers solitary; peduncle 5–28 mm. long, bearing an apical 3–15 mm. long 4–22 mm. broad suborbicular apiculate clasping green bract; pedicel 18–55 mm. long; receptacle-tube obconic, pale greenish-yellow, 2–4 mm. long; lobes ovate-lanceolate or elliptic, adpressed to lower surface of the petals, 3–6.5 mm. long; petals obovate-lingulate, apiculate, 11–22 mm. long, 7.5–15 mm. broad, pale yellow to orange-yellow, 2 with scales inside at the base; stamens 3; anthers coherent in centre of flower; thecae triplicate.

  • Provided by: [E].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FTEA
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    Monoecious.

  • Provided by: [E].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FTEA
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    Fruit on a 37–150 mm. or more long stalk, pendulous, broadly ovoid and beaked to attenuate-ellipsoid, 35–110 mm. long, 20–40 mm. across, reddish-orange with a paler apex, ornamented with ± 8 longitudinal rows of subconical tubercles and with many smaller tubercles in between, splitting into 3 valves and exposing the seeds sheathed in sticky red pulp hanging in two rows from the faces of each valve.

  • Provided by: [E].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FTEA
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    Female flowers with peduncle 2–50 mm. long, bearing an apical broadly ovate or suborbicular 1–12 mm. long 1–10 mm. broad sessile bract; pedicel 10–100 mm. long; ovary ovoid and beaked to elongate-fusiform, muricate-tuberculate, 8–30 mm. long, 2–4 mm. across; receptacle-lobes linear, acute, 2–5 mm. long, reflexed at the tips; petals 7–12 mm. long, 3–6 mm. wide.

  • Provided by: [E].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FTEA
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    Prostrate or scandent herb. Tendrils simple. Stems and petioles concolorous, uniformly green. Leaf lamina deeply palmately 3-7-lobed usually to middle or beyond; lobes narrowed towards base, rhombic, elliptic or obovate in outline, ± sinuate-lobulate. Male flowers solitary, pedicel 20-95 mm long; peduncle free from petiole of subtending leaf. Ovary and fruit with longitudinal rows of larger tubercles and with smaller interstitial tubercles; fruit stalk 34-122 mm long. Flowers pale to deep yellow.

  • Provided by: [D].e-Flora of South Africa
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    Perennial herb.Stems prostrate or scandent to 5 m, sparsely to densely crispate-pubescent or villous, especially at nodes. Leaf-lamina 1-10 x 1-12·5 cm, broadly ovate to orbicular in outline, cordate, narrowly decurrent on to petiole, punctate and sparsely pubescent to densely villous on veins beneath, sparsely hirsute especially on veins above, deeply palmately 3-7-lobed, lobes variously sinuate-dentate or lobulate, acute to retuse, apiculate. Petiole 0·5-7 cm long. Tendrils simple. Flowers monoecious, solitary. Male flowers: peduncle 0·3-5 cm long; bract 2-17 mm long, broadly ovate or reniform, sessile, cordate, amplexicaul, obtuse or retuse, apiculate, green; pedicel 2-9·5 cm long. Receptacle-tube 1-5 mm long; lobes 3-7 mm long, ovate-lanceolate. Petals 1·0-2·5 cm long, pale to deep yellow, ovate to obovate. Female flowers: peduncle 0·2-5 cm long; bract 1-12 mm long; pedicel 1-10 cm long; ovary 8-11(30) × 2-4 mm, ovoid-rostrate to fusiform, ridged, pilose on ridges, tuberculate; receptacle-tube 1-3 mm long, lobes 2-5 mm long, lanceolate; petals 0·7-1·2 cm long. Fruit 2·5-4·8(11) × 1·5-2·3(4) cm, ovoid-rostrate or ellipsoid, longitudinally ribbed and tuberculate, bright orange-red, dehiscent into 3 valves; fruit-stalk 3·4-15 cm long. Seeds 8-11 x 4·5-8 x 2-3·5 mm, enveloped in sticky red pulp, ovate-elliptic to oblong in outline; faces flattened, sculptured, with sinuate edges; margins grooved.

  • Provided by: [D].e-Flora of South Africa
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    Liane' herbacée, monoïque, annuelle; tiges grimpantes ou rampantes, glabres ou tomenteuses.' Feuilles' à pétiole de 12-70 mm de long, glabrescent ou poilu; limbe largement réniforme ou suborbiculaire, cordé, de 3-12 cm de long et de large, profondément 3-7-lobé, à lobes découpés jusqu'à la moitié de la longueur du limbe, obovales-oblongs ou ovales-elliptiques, rétrécis à la base, aigus et apiculés au sommet, membraneux, glabre sur les 2 faces ou légèrement pubescent surtout sur les nervures.' Fleurs' ♂ solitaires, jaunes; pédicelle de 2-8 cm de long, muni dans sa moitié inférieure d'une bractée foliacée verte, réniforme ou orbiculaire-cordée, de 5-15 mm de long et de large; réceptacle obconique ou campanulé, de 2-4 mm de long; sépales ovales-lancéolés, aigus au sommet, de 4-6 mm de long et 2 mm de large; pétales foliacés, à nervures nettement visibles, obovales, un peu unguiculés, apiculés au sommet, de 10-20 mm de long et 7-15 mm de large, deux d'entre eux terminés en écaille à la base; étaminés 3, à filet court; anthères cohérentes au centre de la fleur; loges en S renversé.' Fleurs' ♀ solitaires; pédicelle de 5-10 cm de long, orné d'une bractée foliacée comme chez les fleurs ♂; périanthe semblable à celui des fleurs ♂; ovaire fusiforme ou ovoïde, ± rostré au sommet, muriqué. Baies rouge vermillon à maturité, largement ovoïdes ou ovoïdes-oblongues, déhiscentes par 3 valves, de 4-15 cm de long et 2,5-4 cm de diam., en bec au sommet, ornées d'environ 8 rangées de tubercules coniques assez épais et de tubercules plus petits entre les rangées; pédicelle de 3-15 cm de long.'Graines oblongues, presque tridentées au sommet, de 10-16 mm de long, 7-9 mm de large et 2-3 mm d'épaisseur, à testa ornementé et à marges cannelées.

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    Habit

    Liana/volúvel/trepadeira

  • Provided by: [G].Brazilian Flora 2020 project - Projeto Flora do Brasil 2020
    • Ecology

      Extending into moister regions.

    • Provided by: [J].Plants Of the World Online Portal - FWTA
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      Habitat

      Riverine fringes, old cultivations.

    • Provided by: [D].e-Flora of South Africa
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      Riverine fringes, lake margins, old cultivations.

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      Forêts ombrophiles, forêts secondaires, forêts sèches, savanes herbeuses, marais, bords de rivière; rudérale.

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      Distribution

      Widespread in the tropics and subtropics of both the Old and New World.

    • Provided by: [P].Flora de Panama
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      Native to India.

    • Provided by: [D].e-Flora of South Africa
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      Pantropical, probably an introduction in the New World. Introduced into Namibia, South Africa (Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal).

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      Espèce pantropicale, probablement introduite du Nouveau Monde.

    • Provided by: [H].Flore d'Afrique Centrale
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      Uses

      1. — Graines utilisées pour les maladies du ventre. 2. — Feuilles consommées comme légume.

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      Literature

      SELECTED REFERENCE Marr, K. L., X. Y. Mei, and N. Bhattarai. 2004. Allozyme, morphological and nutritional analysis bearing on the domestication of Momordica charantia L. (Cucurbitaceae). Econ. Bot. 58: 435–455.

    • Provided by: [O].Flora of North America @ efloras.org
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      Distribution Map

       
      • Introduced distribution
      Introduced into
      • Southern America Brazil Acre
      • Amapí
      • Tocantins
      • Bahia
      • Ceará
      • Maranh
      • Paraába
      • Pernambuco
      • Piauá
      • Rio Grande do Norte
      • Rio Grande do Sul
      • Santa Catarina
      • Minas Gerais
      • Rio de Janeiro
      • São Paulo
      • Goiás
      • Mato Grosso
      • Mato Grosso do Sul

      Other Local Names

      NameLanguageCountry
      balsamina
      Balsam pear
      melão são caetanoPortuguese

        Bibliography

       Information From

      Cucurbitaceae
      World Flora Online Data. 2017.
      • A CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0).
      MBG Floras Images
      http://www.tropicos.org/ImageSearch.aspx
      Flora images. Missouri Botanical Garden. Accessed on Jun. 2018.
      • B Missouri Botanical Garden
      • C Missouri Botanical Garden
      e-Flora of South Africa
      e-Flora of South Africa. v1.21. 2018. South African National Biodiversity Institute. http://ipt.sanbi.org.za/iptsanbi/resource?r=flora_descriptions&v=1.21
      • D All Rights Reserved
      Plants Of the World Online Portal - FTEA
      https://www.kew.org/science/who-we-are-and-what-we-do/strategic-outputs-2020/plants-of-the-world-online
      http://www.plantsoftheworldonline.org/terms-and-conditions
      • E
      Manual de Plantas de Costa Rica
      http://www.tropicos.org/Project/Costa%20Rica
      Hammel, B. E.; Grayum, M. H.; Herrera, C.; Zamora, N. Manual de Plantas de Costa Rica. Missouri Botanical Garden Press, 2003-2014
      • F Missouri Botanical Garden
      Brazilian Flora 2020 project - Projeto Flora do Brasil 2020
      http://floradobrasil.jbrj.gov.br
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