Momordica charantia (PROSEA)

From PlantUse English
Jump to: navigation, search
Logo PROSEA.png
Plant Resources of South-East Asia
Introduction
List of species


Momordica charantia L.

Protologue: Sp. pl. 2: 1009 (1753).

Synonyms

  • Momordica indica L. (1754),
  • Momordica elegans Salisb. (1796),
  • Momordica chinensis Spreng. (1891).

Vernacular names

  • Bitter gourd, bitter cucumber, balsam pear (En).
  • Bitter melon (Am).
  • Margose, paroka (Fr)
  • Indonesia: paria (general), pare (Javanese), papari (Moluccas)
  • Malaysia: peria, peria laut, periok
  • Philippines: ampalaya (Tagalog), paria (Ilocano), palia (Bisaya)
  • Cambodia: mreah
  • Laos: 'hai1, 'phak 'ha, sai1
  • Thailand: mara (general), maha (northern), phakha (north-eastern)
  • Vietnam: mư ớp dắng, mư ớp mủ (northern), khổ qua (south).

Distribution

M. charantia was possibly first domesticated in eastern India and southern China. It now has a pantropical distribution, with wild and cultivated populations.

Uses

See under genus treatment for the numerous medicinal uses. The immature fruits are a well-known vegetable. The pulpy arils can be eaten as a sweet. The seed mass of the ripe fruit can be used as a condiment. M. charantia is occasionally planted as an ornamental.

Observations

  • A monoecious, annual vine up to 5 m long, stem 5-ridged, tendrils simple.
  • Leaf blade broadly ovate to suborbicular or ovate-reniform in outline, 2.5-10 cm × 3-12.5 cm, deeply palmately (3-)5(-9)-lobed, deeply cordate at base, lobes obovate and sinuate-lobulate or sinuate-toothed, glabrous or sparsely pubescent.
  • Flowers solitary, 2-3.5 cm in diameter, yellow; male flowers on a 0.5-3 cm long peduncle bearing an apical bract of up to 2.2 cm long, pedicel 2-5.5 cm long; female flowers on a 0.2-5 cm long peduncle bearing an apical bract of up to 1.2 cm long, pedicel 1-10 cm long.
  • Fruit 3-11(-45) cm × 2-4(-8) cm, irregularly warty, orange, dehiscing.
  • Seeds 8-16 mm × 4-10 mm × 2.5-3.5 mm, brown, testa ornamented.

M. charantia is found in lowland rain forest, riverine forest, thickets, hedges, waste places and roadsides and may be locally abundant.

Selected sources

48, 97, 103, 109, 110, 136, 170, 176, 177, 209, 234, 257, 287, 324, 340, 470, 498, 515, 563, 680, 707, 721, 808, 830, 835, 836, 847, 886, 946, 1024, 1027, 1035, 1086, 1121, 1128, 1134, 1143, 1144, 1153, 1164, 1178, 1196, 1216, 1341, 1362, 1443, 1485, 1540, 1589.

Authors

  • Nguyen Huu Hien & Sri Hayati Widodo