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Genus: Momordica

Life > eukaryotes > Archaeoplastida > Chloroplastida > Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants) > Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants) > Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Angiospermae (flowering plants) > Eudicotyledons > Core Eudicots > Rosids > Eurosid I > Order: Cucurbitales > Family: Cucurbitaceae

About 40 species, native to the Old World with most of the species in the African tropics. There are 11 species native to southern Africa and another one that is naturalised in the region. 

Species native to southern Africa

List from Plants of Southern Africa - an Online Checklist (SANBI), Flora of Zimbabwe and Flora of Mozambique.

Momordica anigosantha

Recorded from Mozambique.

Momordica balsamina (Balsam apple)

Momordica boivinii

Momordica cardiospermoides

Momordica charantia

Momordica corymbifera

Recorded from Zimbabwe and Mozambique.


Momordica foetida

Momordica humilis


Momordica kirkii

Momordica repens


Momordica welwitschii


Species naturalised in southern Africa

List from Plants of Southern Africa - an Online Checklist (SANBI).

Momordica charantia (Bitter cucumber, Leprosy gourd)



  • Jeffrey, C. 1978. Cucurbitaceae. Flora Zambesiaca 4: 414-499.

  • Meeuse, A.D.J. 1962. The Cucurbitaceae of southern Africa. Bothalia 8: 1-111.


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