Momordica balsamina L.

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Momordica balsamina

Photo: Bart Wursten
Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve

Momordica balsamina

Photo: Bart Wursten
Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve

Momordica balsamina

Photo: Bart Wursten
Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve

Momordica balsamina

Photo: Bart Wursten
Road Northwest of Tembwahata, Gonarezhou National Park.

Momordica balsamina

Photo: Bart Wursten
Road Northwest of Tembwahata, Gonarezhou National Park.

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Species details: Click on each item to see an explanation of that item (Note: opens a new window)

Synonyms: Momordica involucrata E. Mey. ex Sond.
Common names:
Status: Native
Perennial climber with prostrate or scandent stems up to 2.7 m long. Tendrils simple. Leaves up to 9 × 12 cm, broadly ovate to almost circular in outline, deeply 5-7 lobed, each lobed often 3-5 lobed again, deeply cordate at the base; ultimate margin with sinuate teeth. Flowers unisexual on the same plant, solitary; pale yellow, cream or white, darker at the base, often green-veined. Fruit ovoid, tuberculate, beaked, 2.5 - 6.5 cm long orange-red to red when ripe.
Derivation of specific name: balsamina: balsam-scented
Habitat: In woodland, wooded grassland and riverine fringes, often on sandy soils.
Altitude range: (metres) Up to 1600 m
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Widespread in tropical Africa, particularly in coastal areas. Also in Arabia, India and Australia. Probably introduced in the Neotropics.
Zimbabwe distribution: W,C,E,S
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Images last updated: Sunday 1 February 2009

Bandeira, S., Bolnick, D. & Barbosa, F. (2007). Wild Flowers of Southern Mozambique Universidade Eduardo Mondlane, Maputo, Mozambique Page 201. (Includes a picture).

Chapano, C., Mugarisanwa, N.H. (2003). Plants of the Matobo District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 26.

Heath, A. & Heath, R. (2009). Field Guide to the Plants of Northern Botswana including the Okavango Delta Kew Publishing Page 244. (Includes a picture).

Jeffrey, C. (1978). Cucurbitaceae Flora Zambesiaca 4 Page 423.

Kirby, G. (2013). Wild Flowers of Southeast Botswana Struik Nature, Cape Town South Africa Page 169. (Includes a picture).

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 38.

Pickering, H. & Roe, E. (2009). Wild Flowers of the Victoria Falls Area Helen Pickering, London Page 57. (Includes a picture).

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 53.

Timberlake, J.R. & Childes, S.L. (2004). Biodiversity of the Four Corners Area: Technical Reviews Volume Two (Chapter 5-15) Appendix 5-1: Plant Checklist Occasional Publications in Biodiversity 15 Page 205.


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Other sources of information about Momordica balsamina:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Momordica balsamina
Flora of Caprivi: Momordica balsamina
Flora of Mozambique: Momordica balsamina
Flora of Zambia: Momordica balsamina

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Momordica balsamina
African Plant Database: Momordica balsamina
Biodiversity Explorer (Biodiversity of southern Africa): Momordica balsamina
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Momordica balsamina
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Momordica balsamina
ePIC (electronic Plant Information Center): Momordica balsamina
Flora Zambesiaca web site: Momordica balsamina
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Momordica balsamina
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network): Momordica balsamina
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Momordica balsamina
Ispot Southern Africa: Momordica balsamina
JSTOR Plant Science: Momordica balsamina
Kew Herbarium catalogue: Momordica balsamina
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Momordica balsamina
The Plant List (version 1.1): Momordica balsamina
Tropicos: Momordica balsamina

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-18

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2018). Flora of Zimbabwe: Species information: Momordica balsamina., retrieved 22 February 2018

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