S. NAZIMUDDIN AND S. SHAHARYAR H. NAQVI
Momordica lanata Thunb.
Annual, climber or trailer. Stem herbaceous, rather (softly long hairs) villous. Monoecious. Tendrils robust, pubescent, 2-3-fid. Petiole long-villous. Leaves ovate or elongated ovate in outline, lamina hirsute beneath, long-hispid on veins and veinlets; upper surface smooth with transluscent dots or scabrous, margin minutely denticulate, apparently smooth, deeply 3-5-lobed, lobes elon¬gated-ovate, obtuse, more or less pinnately sinuate lobulate (young leaves and shoots densely villous); probract obovate-spathulate, 8-10 mm long. Male flowers on c. 20(-40) mm long pedicel; calyx broadly campanulate, c. 7 mm long, lobes c. 5(3-5) mm long, lanceolate; petals yellow, 12(7-16) mm long, obovate-oblong, c. 4 mm broad. Female flowers on c. 6 cm long pedicels, calyx and corolla as in the male, ovary ellipsoid or subglobose, hairy. Fruit large, ellipsoid or subspherical, c. 30 cm or more in diameter, hairy, green mottled with paler green and yellowish more or less longitudinal stripes; mesocarp fleshy, red or yellow, rarely white; indehiscent. Seeds ovate in outline, c. 10 mm long, c. 5 mm broad, black or rarely red or of different shades, smooth or slightly verrucose.
Fl. Per.: Jan.-May.
Type: South Africa, Cape Province, Thunberg (UPS, holotype).
Distribution: Native of the Kalahari region. Cultivated throughout Tropics. Found also as an escape.