1. Family: Cucurbitaceae Juss.
    1. Genus: Momordica L.
      1. Momordica charantia L.

        This species is accepted, and its native range is Tropical & Subtropical Old World.

    [FZ]

    Cucurbitaceae, C. Jeffrey. Flora Zambesiaca 4. 1978

    Habit
    Stems prostrate or scandent to 5 m., sparsely to densely crispate-pubescent or villous, especially at nodes.
    Leaves
    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.
    Petiole
    Petiole 0·5–7 cm. long.
    Tendrils
    Tendrils simple.
    Flowers
    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 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.
    Male
    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
    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.
    Fruits
    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
    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.
    [FTEA]

    Cucurbitaceae, C. Jeffrey. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 1967

    Habit
    Annual climber or trailer to 5 m.
    Stem
    Stems herbaceous, ridged, glabrous or hairy, strap-shaped at the base.
    Leaves
    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.
    Tendrils
    Tendrils simple.
    Flowers
    Monoecious. 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. 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.
    Male
    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.
    Female
    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.
    Fruits
    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.
    Seeds
    Seeds oblong, ± 8–11 × 4.5–6 × 2.5–3.5 mm.; testa sculptured; margins grooved.
    Habitat
    Lowland rain-forest and riverine forest, elephant-grass thicket and in plantations; 100–1220 m.; sometimes cultivated
    Distribution
    K7 T4 T8 U2 U4 Z pantropical, but probably introduced in the New World
    [CPLC]

    Bernal, R., Gradstein, S.R. & Celis, M. (eds.). 2015. Catálogo de plantas y líquenes de Colombia. Instituto de Ciencias Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá. http://catalogoplantasdecolombia.unal.edu.co

    Distribution
    Adventicia en Colombia; Alt. 5 - 1500 m.; Amazonia, Andes, Islas Caribeñas, Llanura del Caribe, Orinoquia, Pacífico, Valle del Cauca, Valle del Magdalena.
    Habit
    Trepadora
    Conservation
    No Evaluada
    [FWTA]

    Cucurbitaceae, Hutchinson and Dalziel. Flora of West Tropical Africa 1:1. 1954

    Habit
    Climber, flowers yellow
    Fruits
    Fruit ripening orange, 2–3 in. long, bursting in 3 valves to expose the carmine red seeds
    Ecology
    Extending into moister regions.

    Images

    Distribution

    Native to:

    Angola, Assam, Bangladesh, Benin, Burkina, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Repu, Chad, Christmas I., Congo, East Himalaya, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Gulf of Guinea Is., India, Ivory Coast, Kenya, KwaZulu-Natal, Laos, Lesser Sunda Is., Liberia, Malawi, Malaya, Mali, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Northern Provinces, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Society Is., Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tanzania, Thailand, Tonga, Uganda, Vietnam, West Himalaya, Zambia, Zaïre, Zimbabwe

    Extinct in:

    Socotra

    Introduced into:

    Alabama, Andaman Is., Argentina Northeast, Argentina Northwest, Aruba, Ascension, Bahamas, Belize, Bermuda, Bolivia, Brazil North, Brazil Northeast, Brazil South, Brazil Southeast, Brazil West-Central, Cambodia, Cayman Is., Central American Pac, Colombia, Connecticut, Cook Is., Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Florida, Galápagos, Georgia, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Korea, Leeward Is., Louisiana, Marianas, Mauritius, Mexico Northwest, Mexico Southwest, Netherlands Antilles, New Caledonia, Nicobar Is., Niue, Panamá, Paraguay, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rodrigues, Réunion, Samoa, Solomon Is., Southwest Caribbean, Trinidad-Tobago, Turks-Caicos Is., Venezuela, Venezuelan Antilles, Windward Is.

    Momordica charantia L. appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Jan 1, 2016 Hooker, J.D. [162], Cape Verde K001134350
    Jan 1, 2009 Fernandes, D. [464], Bolivia K000634046
    Oct 3, 2007 Hamilton, M.A. [185], Montserrat 76505.000
    Jan 1, 2006 Cheek, M. [11710], Cameroon K000582255
    Feb 1, 2003 Cheek, M. [5634], Cameroon K000008307
    Feb 1, 2003 Cheek, M. [7524], Cameroon K000008305
    Feb 1, 2003 Cheek, M. [7524], Cameroon K000008306
    Feb 1, 2003 Cable, S. [3231], Cameroon K000008308
    Feb 1, 2003 Cable, S. [2799], Cameroon K000008301
    Feb 1, 2003 Sidwell, K. [385], Cameroon K000008303
    Feb 1, 2003 Zapfack, L. [642], Cameroon K000008302
    Dec 1, 1967 Leeuwenberg, A.J.M. [6945], Cameroon K000050716
    22677.000
    29047.008
    4646.000
    Milne-Redhead, E. [7596], Tanzania 5158.000
    Verdcourt, B. [3942], Kenya 23968.000
    Wild, H. [44470], Zimbabwe 823.000
    Tweedie, E.M. [3484], Kenya 32458.000
    Bullock, A.A. [3999], Zambia 6519.000
    Purseglove, J.W. [3258], Uganda 8104.000
    Richards, H.M. [16056], Tanzania 4994.000
    Harley, R.M. [16272], Brazil 35923.000
    Harley, R.M. [16272], Brazil K001139632
    Harley, R.M. [16212], Brazil K001139633
    Harley, R.M. [17255], Brazil K001139634
    White, F. [2379], Zambia 8105.000
    Hunt, D.R. [6162], Brazil K001139667
    Philcox, D. [4039], Brazil K001139652
    Philcox, D. [4039], Brazil K001139653
    Philcox, D. [3860], Brazil K001139654
    Trail, J.W.H. [362], Brazil K001139617
    Hutchinson, J. [99], Cameroon K000050718
    Hutchinson, J. [99], Cameroon K000050719
    Hutchinson, J. [99], Cameroon K000050720
    Harley, R. [5182], Brazil K001139624
    Harley, R. [5182], Brazil K001139625
    Radcliffe-Smith, A. [3882], Oman 38880.000
    Hatschbach, G. [17173], Brazil K001139666
    Hatschbach, G. [45119], Brazil K001139609
    Hatschbach, G. [38552], Brazil K001139619
    Hatschbach, G. [33807], Brazil K001139620
    Hatschbach, G. [5203], Brazil K001139621
    Hatschbach, G. [49168], Brazil K001139627
    Hatschbach, G. [31372], Brazil K001139629
    Hatschbach, G. [29505], Brazil K001139630
    Rico, L. [1415], Bolivia K000295406
    Lindeman, J.C. [4573], Brazil K001139678
    Pearson, H.P.N. [4], Brazil K001139649
    Silva, J.M. [1930], Brazil K001139676
    Hage, J.L. [589], Brazil K001139614
    Irwin, H.S. [21484], Brazil K001139665
    Irwin, H.S. [15866], Brazil K001139668
    Andrade, I.M. [84], Brazil K001139607
    Agra, M.F. [1169], Brazil K001139679
    Eiten, G. [4571], Brazil K001139651
    Preston, T.A. [s.n.], Brazil K001139661
    Preston, T.A. [s.n.], Brazil K001139662
    Preston, T.A. [s.n.], Brazil K001139663
    Lemos, M.J.S. [20], Brazil K001139677
    Lemos, M.J.S. [20], Brazil K001139622
    França, F. [2290], Brazil K001139623
    Pickersgill, B. [Ru71-272], Brazil K001139616
    Maas, P.J.M. [322A], Brazil K001139674
    Bolland, G. [s.n.], Brazil K001139640
    Kummrow, R. [538], Brazil K001139615
    Kummrow, R. [508], Brazil K001139618
    Silva, N.T. [2059], Brazil K001139673
    Riedel [707], Brazil K001139648
    Burchell, W.J. [7158-2], Brazil K001139660
    Miers, J. [3491], Brazil K001139647
    Robert, A. [748], Brazil K001139655
    Graham [s.n.], Brazil K001139639
    Moseley, H.N. [s.n.], Cape Verde K001134351
    Teixeira, L.O.A. [378], Brazil K001139610
    Teixeira, L.O.A. [720], Brazil K001139611
    Daly, D.C. [D520], Brazil K001139612
    Balée, W.L. [1542], Brazil K001139608
    Vieira, G. [389], Brazil K001139635
    Prance, G.T. [4004], Brazil K001139669
    Prance, G.T. [4004], Brazil K001139670
    Prance, G.T. [14673], Brazil K001139671
    Prance, G.T. [4004], Brazil K001139631
    Lowrie, S.R. [400], Brazil K001139613
    Balick, M.J. [1545], Brazil K001139650
    Traill, J.W.H. [362], Brazil K001139638
    Mexia, Y. [4543], Brazil K001139664
    s.coll. [s.n.] K000742645
    s.coll. [s.n.], India K000742644
    Manning, S.D. [1265], Cameroon K000050717
    Lobo, M.G.A. [156], Brazil K001139636
    Swainson, W. [s.n.], Brazil K001139644
    Albuquerque, B.W. [1363], Brazil K001139672
    Vieria, R.F. [93], Brazil K001139628
    Lobão, A.Q. [28], Brazil K001139641
    Gibert, E.J. [37], Paraguay K001139645
    s.coll. [Cat. no. 6746] K001124719
    s.coll. [s.n.] K001139643
    s.coll. [s.n.], Brazil K001139646
    Burchell [822], Brazil K001139658
    Burchell [7158-2], Brazil K001139659
    Fonseca, V.S. [116], Brazil K001139642
    Moseley [s.n.], Brazil K001139656
    Moseley [s.n.], Brazil K001139657
    Damineli, E.C. [20426], Brazil K001139675
    Skorupa, L. [90], Brazil K001139626
    Döbereiner, J. [1470], Brazil K001139637
    s.coll. [Cat. no. 6745] Momordica muricata K001124713
    s.coll. [Cat. no. 6745] Momordica muricata K001124714
    s.coll. [Cat. no. 6745] Momordica muricata K001124715
    s.coll. [Cat. no. 6745] Momordica muricata K001124716
    s.coll. [Cat. no. 6745] Momordica muricata K001124717
    s.coll. [Cat. no. 6745] Momordica muricata K001124718
    Milne-Redhead, E. [5140], Ghana Momordica charantia var. abbreviata 4645.000

    First published in Sp. Pl.: 1009 (1753)

    Accepted by

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    • Fosberg, F.R. (1975). Vascular plants of Aitutaki Atoll Research Bulletin 190: 73-84.
    • Keraudren-Aymonin, M. (1975). Flore d'Afrique Centrale (Zaire-rwanda-Burundi), Cucurbitaceae: 1-152. Jardin Botanique National de Belgique.
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    Sources

    Catálogo de Plantas y Líquenes de Colombia
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

    Flora Zambesiaca
    Flora Zambesiaca
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

    Flora of West Tropical Africa
    Flora of West Tropical Africa
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

    Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
    'The Herbarium Catalogue, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet http://www.kew.org/herbcat [accessed on Day Month Year]'. Please enter the date on which you consulted the system.
    Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

    Kew Backbone Distributions
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2019. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
    © Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

    Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2019. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
    © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

    Neotropikey
    Milliken, W., Klitgard, B. and Baracat, A. (2009 onwards), Neotropikey - Interactive key and information resources for flowering plants of the Neotropics.
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0