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  Momordica charantia
  Family Name : Cucurbitaceae

  Synonyms : Alsomitra fauriei, Momordica elegans, Momordica sinensis, Momordica operculata, Momordica indica, Momordica chinensis

  Common Names : Balsam Pear, Bitter Gourd, Bitter Cucumber, La-kwa, Leprosy Gourd, Peria Laut, Bitter Melon

  Chinese Name : 苦瓜

 
Balsam Pear,Bitter Gourd,Bitter Cucumber,La-kwa,Leprosy Gourd,Peria Laut,Bitter Melon
  • Record Info
  • Life Stage & Characteristics
    • Plant Growth Form :
      Climber, Vine & Liana
  • Biogeography
    • Native Distribution :
      Pantropical
  • Description & Ethnobotany
    • Plant Morphology :
      Growth Form: A monoecious, herbaceous annual. It is a climber and has a twining growth form and climbs with the aid of tendrils. 
      Foliage: The leaves are simple, palmately veined with a lobed and crenate margin and are alternately arranged along the stem. 
      Flowers: The flowers are solitary and yellow. 
      Fruits: The fruit is a pepo and is ovate-elliptical to elongate-fusiform with a surface covered wit ridges, wrinkles or spines. The immature fruit is green with white seeds. The fruit turns orange when mature and splits open from top down to reveal bright red seeds. 
      Ethnobotanical Uses :
      Edible Plant Parts (Edible Fruits)
      Food (Fruit & Vegetable: The immature fruits are often cooked and eaten as a vegetable. They are rich in vitamins A and C. To reduce the bitter taste, the sliced gourd can be marinated in salt and squeezed to remove the bitter juice. After rinsing the slices, the spongy interior and seeds are removed. They are often stir-fried, stuffed with minced pork, fried with eggs or added to soups.)
      Medicinal (The fruits are used in folk medicine to treat diabetes. Its juice is applied externally to treat skin disorders and its juice is drunk as a cure for arthritis, rheumatism and asthma. Studies have shown that eating the fruits may help in lowering blood glucose levels. )
  • Landscaping Features
    • Desirable Plant Features :
      Ornamental Fruits
      Plant & Rootzone Preference/Tolerance :
      Well-Drained Soils, Fertile Loamy Soils
      Landscape Uses :
      Parks & Gardens, Small Gardens, Vertical Greenery / Green Wall, Trellis / Arbour / Pergola
      Thematic Landscaping :
      Economic Garden
  • Plant Care & Propagation
    • Light Preference :
      Full Sun
      Water Preference :
      Moderate Water, Occasional Misting
      Propagation Method :
      Seed
      Seed / Spore Germination Duration :
      5 Days to 7 Days
  • Foliar
    • Foliage Retention :
      Evergreen
      Mature Foliage Colour(s) :
      Green
      Foliar Type :
      Simple / Unifoliate
      Foliar Arrangement Along Stem :
      Alternate
      Foliar Attachment to Stem :
      Petiolate
      Foliar Shape(s) :
      Non-Palm Foliage
      Foliar Venation :
      Palmate
      Foliar Margin :
      Crenate
  • Floral (Angiosperm)
    • Flower & Plant Sexuality :
      Unisexual Flowers (Monoecious)
      Flower Colour(s) :
      Yellow / Golden
      Flower Grouping :
      Solitary
      Flower Location :
      Axillary
  • Fruit, Seed & Spore
    • Mature Fruit Colour(s) [Angiosperms & Gymnosperms] :
      Green, Orange
      Mature Fruit Texture(s) :
      Bumpy / Tuberculate
      Fruit Classification :
      Simple Fruit
      Mature Seed Colour(s) :
      Brown
The information given on this website has been compiled from reference works on medicinal plants and/or pron only. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Reliance on this information is strictly at your own risk. You should always consult your physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.

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