Momordica charantia

Species:Momordica charantia L.
Common Name:Balsam Pear; Bitter Melon; Bitter Gourd
Associated Ecological Communities:**
Growth Habit:Vine
Plant Notes:Perhaps a waif that becomes established for short periods of time. Rediscovered in Alabama after 125 years by Alvin Diamond in Montgomery County in 2020.
Taxonomic Notes:**
Status:Not Persisting, Not Native
References:Diamond, A.R. 2020. Noteworthy collections of four non-native vascular plant species new to the flora of Alabama and one species rediscovered after 125 years. Castanea 85(2): 319-326.
Specimen: View specimen details in the Alabama Herbarium Consortium Specimen Database

** Not applicable or data not available.


FamilyCUCURBITACEAE - Cucumber family
Genus Momordica
Species Momordica charantia L. - Balsam Pear; Bitter Melon; Bitter Gourd


Citation Momordica charantia Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 2: 1009. 1753.
Basionym: **
Type: Cult. in Netherlands, without data (lectotype: BM). Lectotypified by C. Jeffrey, in Milne-Redhead & Polhill, Fl. Trop. E. Afr., Cucurbitac. 31. 1967.

** Not applicable or data not available.


SynonymFull CitationBasionymType
Cucumis intermedius Cucumis intermedius M. Roemer, Fam. Nat. Syn. Monogr. 2: 80. 1846.  
Momordica anthelmintica Momordica anthelmintica Schumacher & Thonning, in Schumacher, Beskr. Guin. Pl. 423. 1827.  
Momordica charantia var. abbreviata Momordica charantia Linnaeus, var. abbreviata Seringe, in de Candolle, Prodr. 3: 311. 1828. SRI LANKA:
Momordica charantia var. muricata Momordica charantia Linnaeus, var. muricata (Willdenow) Grisebach, Fl. Brit. W.I. 287. 1860.Momordica muricata Willdenow 1805. 
Momordica charantia var. zeylanica Momordica charantia Linnaeus, var. zeylanica (Miller) Hitchcock, Rep. (Annual) Missouri Bot. Gard. 4: 89. 1893.Momordica zeylanica Miller 1768. 
Momordica chinensis Momordica chinensis Anon., Bull. Soc. Tosc. Ortic. 18: 14. 1893. CHINA
Momordica elegans Momordica elegans Salisbury, Prodr. Stirp. Chap. Allerton 158. 1796, nom. illegit.Momordica charantia Linnaeus 1753. 
Momordica jagorana Momordica jagorana K. Koch, Wochenschr. Gaertnerei Pflanzenk. 1: 45. 1858.  
Momordica muricata Momordica muricata Willdenow, Sp. Pl. 4: 602. 1805. INDIA: Kerala: Malabar, without data (holotype: Rheede, Hort. Malab. 8: t. 10. 1688).
Momordica papillosa Momordica papillosa Peckolt ex Rosenthal, Syn. Pl. Diaph. 678. 1862.  
Momordica roxburghiana Momordica roxburghiana G. Don, Gen. Hist. 3: 35. 1834. INDIA
Momordica senegalensis Momordica senegalensis Lamarck, Encycl. 4: 239. 1797. SENEGAL
Momordica zeylanica Momordica zeylanica Miller, Gard. Dict., ed. 8. 1768. SRI LANKA
Sicyos fauriei Sicyos fauriei H. Léveillé, Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. 10: 150. 1911. HAWAII

Specimens and Distribution

This species has been reported in the following counties by the herbaria listed. An overview of the individual specimens are provided in the table that follows. Click on the accession number to view details; click on column headers to sort; choose a county or herbaria to filter the specimen data.

Counties included on distribution map: Mobile, Montgomery

Counties represented by specimen data listed below:

Herbaria represented by specimen data listed below: TROY, UNA, UWAL

Range of years during which specimens were collected: 1893 - 1893

Barcode / Accession No. County Coll. Date Collector &
Collection No.
Herbarium &
Herbarium Name Used
TROY000049428 Montgomery 05 Oct 2018 Diamond, Alvin R.
Momordica charantia Linnaeus
UNA00011905 Mobile 04 Jul 1893 Mohr, Charles
Momordica charantia L.
UWAL0049428 Montgomery 05 Oct 2018 Diamond, Alvin R.
Momordica charantia Linnaeus
UNA00011910 Mobile s.d. Mohr, Charles
Momordica charantia L.
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