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Momordica charantia

Common namesbalsam pear, band carilla, bitter gourd
Ecocrop code7795

BRIEF DESCRIPTION A herbaceous, pubescent vine up to 5 m long climbing by tendrils with leaves, alternating, simple, cordate and much lobed. The fruit 3-11 or 45 x2-4 or 8 cm, is something like a cucumber, more spindle shape or globose with a very wart-like surface. USES To remove most of its bitterness the whole small fruits or fruit slices are soaked in salt water before or after parboiled. They are cooked in many dishes, and can be pickled. Fruits are also stuffed. Leaves make a good spinach dish and seeds are used as a condiment. Fruits, young shoots and flowers are used as flavouring. It can also be planted as an ornamental and is mentioned as a useful agroforestry species. GROWING PERIOD Annual. Flowers 30-35 days after planting and fruit is picked after 50-70 days. The plant continue to bear fruits for the following 70-85 days. COMMON NAMES Bitter gourd, Balsam pear, Bitter cucumber, Bitter melon, Margose, Cundiamor, Kerelaq, Tita kerala, Peria, Peria laut, Periok, Palia, Paria, Ampalaya, Amargoso, Paroka, Pakal, Pavakai, Fu kwa, Kiuri, Balsam apple, Mreah, Haix, S'aix, Mara, Phakha, Maha. FURTHER INF Scientific synonym: M. indica, M. elegans, M. chinensis. Bitter gourd is normally grown in hot, humid tropical areas with high rainfall at elevations up to 500 m. It grows wild in lowland rain forest and riverine forest, up to 1000 m in altitude. Plants require trellising. Yields of up to 10-30 t/ha can be obtained.
SOURCES (M. charantia L.)
Rice R 1990 pp 247-248 [TEMP, RAIN, FER]
Tindall H 1983 pp 179-181 [RAIN, TEMP, FER, DRA]
Duke J 1975 pp 21 [PH, RAIN, TEMP]
Roecklein J 1987 pp 474 [USE, TEMP, TEXT]
Nair P 1980 pp 280-281 [USE, DRA, FER]
Martin F 1984 pp 191-194 [TEMP, RAIN, PHO, TEXT, FER, USE]
Siemonsma J 1993 pp 206-210 [DRA, TEXT, FER, USE]