India, Pakistan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania,
Tanganyika, Sudan, Uganda
tuberosa, William Roxburgh, 1832.
Momordica tuberosa, CÚlestin Alfred Cogniaux,
Kedrostis malvifolia, Emilio Chiovenda, 1932.
Luffa hilapikku Herb. Madr. ex Wall.
hilapikku, Herb. Madr. ex Wall.
Roxb. ex Wight & Arn.
Luffa amara, Wall.
This monoecious member of the
Cucurbitaceae family was given this name by Eduard Fenzl in 1859. It is found
in India: Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and
Tamil Nadu and in Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania,
Tanganyika, Sudan and Uganda. It can be grown in a rich but well drained soil with
some water and some to lots of sun. The caudex can grow to ten
centimetres in diameter, the entire plant to three or even five metres in
flowers are from white to yellow.
The name does confuse me a bit.
It seems like both Eduard Fenzl; 1859 and Joseph Dalton Hooker; 1871
have used this name. Fenzl for a plant in southern India, Hooker for
an African plant. Further more, the synonym Momordica tuberosa
seems to be used by both Dennstedt 1855 and Cogniaux 1881. And
Fenzl used Charles Victor Naudin's descriptions, but I fail to find
what name he originally gave the plant. My aim is to use the data
above to the Indian plant, described by Fenzl. That said, I can't
rule out it is the same species found both in Africa and India, as
it is a medicine plant, which could have been brought around in
ancient times by man - or birds.
The name comes from Mordio:
bite' after the bitten appearance of the seeds. The
species name means 'small-cup', as to shape of lip.