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Momordica balsamina, Momordica charantia, Momordica dioica.

Momordica balsamina Linn. Cucurbitaceae. Balsam Apple.

Borders of the tropics. The balsam apple has purgative qualities but is eaten by the Chinese after careful washing in warm water and subsequent cooking.

Momordica charantia Linn.

Borders of the tropics. This vine is very commonly cultivated about Bombay. In the wet season, the fruit is 12 or 15 inches long, notched and ridged like a crocodile's back and requires to be steeped in salt water before being cooked. Firminger says the fruit is about the size and form of a hen's egg, pointed at the ends, and covered with little blunt tubercles, of intensely bitter taste, but is much consumed by the natives and is agreeable also to Europeans as an ingredient to flavor their curries by way of variety. In Patna, there are two varieties: jetkwya, a plant growing in the heat of spring and dying with the first rains, and bara masiya, which lasts throughout the year. In France, it is grown in the flower garden.

Momordica dioica Roxb.

East Indies. This species is under cultivation in India for food purposes; the root is edible. There are several varieties, says Drury. The young, green fruits and tuberous roots of the female plant are eaten by the natives, and, in Burma, according to Mason, the small, muricated fruit is occasionally eaten. At Bombay, this plant is cultivated for the fruit, which is the size of a pigeon's egg and knobbed, says Graham.


Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World, 1919, was edited by U. P. Hedrick.



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