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  Momordica charantia var. charantia
 
  Family: CUCURBITACEAE
  Citation:  Momordica charantia L., Sp. Pl. 1009. 1753, var. charantia; Hook. f., Fl. Brit. India 2: 616. 1879; Gamble, Fl. Pres. Madras 532(375). 1919; Manilal & Sivar., Fl. Calicut 121. 1982; Chakrav., Fasc. Fl. Ind. 11: 89. 1982; Manilal, Fl. Silent Valley 119. 1988; Antony, Syst. Stud. Fl. Kottayam Dist. 178. 1989; Babu, Fl. Malappuram Dist. 295. 1990; Vajr., Fl. Palghat Dist. 214. 1990; Subram., Fl. Thenmala Div. 151. 1995; Sivar. & Mathew, Fl. Nilambur 293. 1997; Sasidh., Fl. Parambikulam WLS 135. 2002; Anil Kumar et al., Fl. Pathanamthitta 236. 2005; Sunil & Sivadasan, Fl. Alappuzha Dist. 322. 2009.
  Malayalam Name(s): Kaippakka, Kattukayya, Paval, Pavakkai, Pantipavel
  Tamil name(s): Karvellak
  English name(s): Bitter Gourd, Bitter Melon, Balsam Apple, Balsam Pear, Carilla fruit, Karela
  Description: Climbers; tendrils simple. Leaves up to 8 x 8 cm, orbicular-cordate, 5-7-lobed; lobes acute or acuminate, margin dentate-lobulate; petiole to 4 cm. Flowers axillary, solitary. Male flowers: bracts 5-12 x 5-12 mm; foliaceous, reniform; peduncle to 6 cm long; calyx tube campanulate, glabrescent; lobes ovate; Corolla yellow; to 3 cm across, petals 5, obovate, villous. Stamens 3; anthers to 2.5 mm; pistillodes 3. Female flowers: Peduncles 6-10 cm long often bracteate at base; ovary fusiform. Fruit 10-15 cm long, oblong, echinate. Seeds 1-1.5 x 0.7-0.9 cm, ovoid, compressed, base and apex subtridentate, sculptured.
  Habit: Climber
  Flowering & Fruiting: October-January
  District(s): All Districts
  Medicinal: Yes
  Habitat: Cultivated
  Distribution: Paleotropics; widely cultivated
  Aquatic: No
  Epiphyte(s): No
  Saprophyte: No
  Stem parasite: No
  Root parasite: No
  Flower colour(s): Yellow
  Weed: No
  Monocot/Dicot: Dicotyledonous Plants
  Exotic: No
  Garden: No
  Edible: No
  Vegetable: Yes
  Endemic to:
  IUCN status:
  Altitude:
  Localities: Amakkundu, Panthenthode border, Anmooly slopes, Kaikatty forests-Pothundy, Thykuttam, Nedumkayam, Thenmalai
   
 
   
 
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