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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 6 | Cucurbitaceae | Momordica

1. Momordica balsamina Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 2: 1009. 1753.

Stems pubescent to glabrescent. Leaves: petiole 1–4(–6) cm; blade broadly ovate or reniform to orbiculate, palmately 3–5-lobed, 1–9(–12) cm, base cordate, lobes broadly ovate or rhombic-ovate, sinuses 80–90% to base, margins sinuate-dentate, leaf lobes and teeth apiculate, surfaces glabrous or sparsely hairy. Inflorescences: staminate peduncles bracteate near apex, bracts sessile, broadly ovate-cordate to reniform, margins dentate to denticulate; pistillate peduncles ebracteate or bracteate at base to submedially. Petals yellow, obovate, 8–15 mm. Fruits orange-red, broadly ovoid, 2.5–4(–7) cm, beak becoming less prominent at maturity, surface minutely tuberculate, muriculate in longitudinal rows. Seeds ovate-oblong, 9–12 mm. 2n = 22.

Flowering May–Sep. Hammocks, disturbed areas, roadsides, fencerows; 10–200 m; introduced; Ala., Fla., La., N.Mex., Okla., Tex.; Asia; Africa; introduced also in Mexico, West Indies, Australia.

Reports of Momordica balsamina from Alabama and Texas are not documented. Naturalized occurrences of the species elsewhere in the flora area are scattered and uncommon.


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