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Momordica cardiospermoides

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Photo from
GP Desert.

Photo by Bart Wursten

Author: Johann Friedrich Klotzsch, 1861
Origin:  Botswana, Eswatini, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe
Soil:  Sand - Mix
Water:  Medium - Maximum
Sun:  Medium - Maximum
Thickness:  30 Centimetres
Height:  6-10 Metres
Flower:  Yellow
Propagate:  Seeds/Cuttings
Names:  Bitter Gourd
Synonyms:  Momordica clematidea, Otto Wilhelm Sonder

This monoecious member of the Cucurbitaceae family was given this name by Johann Friedrich Klotzsch in 1861. It is found in south-eastern Africa, growing in a well drained soil with some to lots of water and some to lots of sun. The cluster of swollen roots can grow to 30 centimetres in diameter, the vines from six to ten meters long. The flowers are yellow and the fruits are red.

The name comes from Mordio: 'to bite' after the bitten appearance of the seeds. The species name means it looks like Cardiospermum, at least the leaves does.