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Momordica

Description from Flora of China

Herbs, annual or perennial, scandent or creeping. Tendrils unbranched or 2-fid. Petiole usually glandular; leaf blade suborbicular or ovate-cordate, palmately 3-7-lobed, rarely undivided, entire or dentate. Plants dioecious or monoecious. Male flowers solitary or in a raceme; pedicel often with a large bract; bract orbicular-reniform; calyx tube short, campanulate or cupular; segments ovate, lanceolate, or oblong-lanceolate; corolla yellow or white, rotate or broadly campanulate, 5-lobed; segments obovate, oblong, or ovate-oblong; stamens (2 or)3(or 5); filaments short, free; anthers coherent at first, one 1-celled, other 2-celled; anther cells reflexed, straight, or curved; connective not produced; rudimentary ovary glandular or absent. Female flowers: ovary oblong or fusiform; style elongate; stigmas 3, undivided or 2-lobed; ovules numerous, horizontal. Fruit ovoid, oblong, elliptic, or fusiform, undivided or 3-valved, usually verrucose or spinescent. Seeds few or numerous, ovate or oblong, smooth or reticulate.

Forty-five species: most in tropical Africa, some cultivated in tropical regions; three species (one introduced) in China.

(Authors: Lu Anmin (路安民 Lu An-ming); Charles Jeffrey)


 

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Flora of China  
  • Momordica (PDF)
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