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Pakistan | Family List | Cucurbitaceae

1. Momordica Linn., Sp. Pl. 1009. 1753. Gen. Pl. ed. 5.440. 1754; DC., Prodr. 3: 311. 1828; Benth. & Hook. f., Gen. Pl. 1:825. 1867; Clarke in Hook. f., Fl. Brit. Ind. 616. 1879; Cogn. in A. & C. DC., Monogr. Phan. 427. 1881; Chakravarty, Monogr. Ind. Cucurbit. in Rec. Bot. Surv. Ind. 17:86. 1959; Hutch., Gen. Fl. Pl. 1:399. 1967.


Annual or perennial, monoecious or dioecious, climbers or trailers. Tendrils simple or bifid. Leaves simple, palmately lobed or 3-9 pedately foliate, margin mucronate-dentate or lobulate-dentate or undulated, remotely denticulate. Flowers small or large, yellow or rarely white. Peduncle mostly with large foliaceous bracts. Male flowers solitary, corymbose, racemose or umbellate; female flowers solitary. Calyx tube closed at bottom by 2-3 incurved oblong scales, lobes ovate-lanceolate, entire. Corolla rotate or broadly campanulate, deeply 5-partite, lobes not fimbriate, obovate or oblong or petals free. Stamens 3, rarely 2, inserted at the mouth of the calyx tube, one 1-thecous, others 2-thecous, filaments short, free, anthers coherent at first, ultimately free, pistillode absent or glandular. Female perianths as in male. Staminode absent or glandular. Ovary oblong or fusiform, rostrate, minutely apiculate-excrescent. Ovules many, usually horizontal. Fruit oblong-fusiform, cylindric, baccate, tuberculate or muriculate, indehiscent or dehiscent by 3-valves or irregularly exposing the seeds enveloped in scarlet pulp. Seeds turgid or flattened, smooth or sculptured, grooved at the margins.

A genus of c. 45 species in Palaeotropics, the majority of which are African. Represented in Pakistan by 3 species.

1 Flowers monoecious. Fruit tuberculate   (2)
+ Flowers dioecious. Fruit densely prickly   3 Momordica dioica
2 (1) Bracts of the male flowers at the apex of the pedicel, ovate-cordate, dentate. Fruit 2-7 cm long   1 Momordica balsamina
+ Bracts of the male flowers about the middle or below the middle of the pedicel, reniform or orbicular-cordate, mucronate, entire. Fruit 7-25 cm long   2 Momordica charantia

Lower Taxa

Related Synonym(s):


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Flora of China  
  • Momordica (PDF)
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