Common name: Bitter Melon
Momordica charantia L. APNI*
Description: Annual trailing herb, pubescent sometimes glabrescent.
Leaves with lamina 3–10 cm long, usually deeply 5-lobed, toothed, glabrous or pubescent; petiole 3–5 cm long.
Male flower on stalk 0.5–8 cm long, bract to 2 cm long; petals c. 1 cm long. Female flower on stalk 0.2–5 cm long, bract 2 cm long.
Fruit ovoid, 3–12 cm long, with longitudinal ridges and warts, orange to red; dehiscing and exposing the seeds in sticky pulp hanging from the face of each valve; seeds c. 10 mm long.
Distribution and occurrence: Cultivated, not fully naturalized in the area. Native of trop. regions including coastal Qld.
NSW subdivisions: *CC
Other Australian states: *Qld
Text by G. J. Harden
Taxon concept: Flora of NSW 1 (1990)
APNI* Provides a link to the Australian Plant Name Index (hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens) for comprehensive bibliographic data
***The AVH map option provides a detailed interactive Australia wide distribution map drawn from collections held by all major Australian herbaria participating in the Australian Virtual Herbarium project.