Family:
Cucurbitaceae
Scientific Name:
Momordica charantia
Toxins:
toxalbumins alkaloids momordicin
Flower Color:
Found:
ornamental, crop, citrus groves

Geographical Distribution

Bitter Gourd distribution - United States

Bitter Gourd

Momordica charantia

Balsam pear, karela
5/ 10
Bitter Gourd (Momordica charantia) is a tropical and subtropical herbaceous vine from the cucumber (Cucurbitaceae) family. The plant produces small yellow flowers and orange fibrous fruit pods, 1 to 3 inches long. Inside the fruit, a reddish gelatinous substance coats it's bright red seeds.

Both the fruit and seeds contain momordicin, a bitter, potent cathartic. The fruit also contains charantin, a strong chemical that induces hypoglycemia.