Plant DetailShow Menu

Momordica charantia

Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
mo-MOR-dih-kah kar-AN-tee-ah
This plant has medium severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Momordica charantia is a vigorous, tendril-bearing, frost tender, annual vine of the cucumber family that will grow rapidly to 12-20’ long in a single growing season. Plants are generally grown like cucumbers. Start seed indoors (best in peat pots which decompose in the soil because seedlings dislike being transplanted) about 4 weeks prior to last spring frost date. Best on a trellis.

Red mature fruit and seeds are toxic and should not be eaten.

Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#poisonous#annual#vines#edible garden
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#poisonous#annual#vines#edible garden
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Momordica
    Species:
    charantia
    Family:
    Cucurbitaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Plants have a long history of use as a vegetable and an herbal medicine.
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Tropical & Subtropical Old World
    Climbing Method:
    Tendrils
    Edibility:
    Young fruits (green or early yellow colored) are a popular vegetable consumed in some countries. Leafy shoot tips are often used as salad greens.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Annual
    Edible
    Poisonous
    Vine
    Habit/Form:
    Climbing
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Appendage:
    Tendrils
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    NC Region:
    Coastal
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Orange
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Showy
    Fruit Type:
    Berry
    Fruit Description:
    Ripe berry is yellow-orange, warty, with red pulp around seeds. Edible when still green, but poisonous once ripe.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Tubular
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    Tubular yellow flowers
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Margin:
    Lobed
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Alternate, foul-smelling, deeply palmately lobed
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Vertical Spaces
    Landscape Theme:
    Edible Garden
    Problems:
    Poisonous to Humans
    Weedy
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Medium
    Poison Symptoms:
    TOXIC ONLY IF LARGE QUANTITIES EATEN. Ripe fruits, fruit coats, and seeds cause headache, salivation, facial redness, pupil dilation, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and muscular weakness.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Resin, saponic glycoside, and alkaloids
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Fruits
    Seeds