Momordica foetida Schumach.

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Momordica foetida

Photo: Bart Wursten
Greystone Park Nature Reserve, Harare

Momordica foetida

Photo: Bart Wursten
Greystone Park Nature Reserve, Harare

Momordica foetida

Photo: Bart Wursten
Nyakupinga Estate, Wattle Co.

Momordica foetida

Photo: Bart Wursten
Nyakupinga Estate, Wattle Co.

Momordica foetida

Photo: Bart Wursten
Old power station, Nyahode river, road to Rusitu

Momordica foetida

Photo: Bart Wursten
Vumba road near Genaina Lodge, Vumba

Momordica foetida

Photo: Bart Wursten
Near Chalet 3, Chirinda Forest

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

Synonyms: Momordica morkorra A. Rich.
Momordica schimperiana Naud.
Common names:
Frequency: Common
Status: Native
Perennial climber with annual prostrate or scandent stems up to 7 m long, growing from a tuberous rootstock. All parts emit an unpleasant smell when crushed. leave up to c. 19 × 18 cm, broadly ovate to ovate-triangular, mostly unlobed, deeply cordate at the base, punctate and with scabrid hairs above, hairless or crispate-pubescent on the veins beneath; margin from minutely denticulate to strongly sinuate-dentate. Tendrils simple or 2-fid. Flowers unisexual on different plants, axillary, c. 3.5 cm in diameter. Male flowers in 1-8-flowered clusters, opening singly; female flowers solitary. Calyx dark green to black, covered in bristly protuberances. Corolla c. 3.5 cm in diameter, pale orange-yellow, darker near the base, often somewhat zygomorphic. Fruit ovoid or ellipsoid, up to 7.5 × 5 cm, bright orange when ripe, covered in soft spine-like protuberances, dehiscent into three valves, revealing seeds embedded in bright red jelly.
Derivation of specific name: foetida: foetid, bad-smelling
Habitat: In forest edges, woodland, wooded grassland and riverine fringes. Also in cultivated and disturbed land.
Altitude range: (metres) 350 - 2250 m
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Widespread in Tropical Africa.
Zimbabwe distribution: N,C,E
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: Wednesday 8 February 2012

Baumann, G. (2005). Photographic Guide to Wildflowers of Malawi Wildlife and Environmental Society of Malawi Pages 88 - 89. (Includes a picture).

Burrows, J.E. & Willis, C.K. (eds) (2005). Plants of the Nyika Plateau Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 31 SABONET, Pretoria Page 135. (Includes a picture).

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 39.

Da Silva, M.C., Izidine, S. & Amude, A.B. (2004). A preliminary checklist of the vascular plants of Mozambique. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 30 Sabonet, Pretoria Page 51.

Fabian, A. & Germishuizen, G. (1997). Wild Flowers of Northern South Africa. Fernwood Press, Vlaeburg. Pages 416 - 417. (Includes a picture).

Jeffrey, C. (1978). Cucurbitaceae Flora Zambesiaca 4 Pages 424 - 426. (Includes a picture).

Jeffrey, C. & Fernandes, R.B. (1986). 80. Cucurbitaceae Flora de Moçambique Junta de Investigaçoes de Ultramar, Centro de Botanica Pages 18 - 20. (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.

Phiri, P.S.M. (2005). A Checklist of Zambian Vascular Plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 32 Page 45.

Pooley, E. (1998). A Field Guide to the Wild Flowers of KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Region. Natal Flora Publications Trust. Durban. Pages 80 - 81. (Includes a picture).

Other sources of information about Momordica foetida:

Our websites:

Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Momordica foetida
Flora of Malawi: Momordica foetida
Flora of Mozambique: Momordica foetida
Flora of Zambia: Momordica foetida

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Momordica foetida
African Plant Database: Momordica foetida
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Momordica foetida
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Momordica foetida
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Momordica foetida
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Momordica foetida
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Momordica foetida
JSTOR Plant Science: Momordica foetida
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Momordica foetida
Plants of the World Online: Momordica foetida
Tropicos: Momordica foetida
Wikipedia: Momordica foetida

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-24

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2024). Flora of Zimbabwe: Species information: Momordica foetida., retrieved 16 June 2024

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