Enum. Pl. China Bor., 29. 1833.
|Momordica charantia subsp. charantia|
Plants perennial, dioecious, climbing; stems annual, hirsute; roots tuberous; tendrils unbranched or 2-branched. Leaves: blade broadly ovate to suborbiculate, not lobed or angulate, margins serrate to [serrulate] denticulate, surfaces eglandular. Inflorescences: staminate flowers 5–15 in axillary racemes or umbelliform fascicles, less commonly solitary; pistillate flowers solitary [2–3], axillary; bracts absent [present]. Flowers: hypanthium shallowly campanulate to subrotate; sepals 5, recurving, linearlanceolate to narrowly lanceolate; petals 5, distinct nearly to base, yellow, ovate-oblong, 15–25 mm, villous abaxially, papillose-glandular adaxially, corolla campanulate. Staminate flowers: stamens 5; filaments inserted near hypanthium base, distinct; thecae connate, forming central oblong body, sigmoid-flexuous, connective broad; pistillodes present. Pistillate flowers: ovary 3-locular, oblong; ovules 30–70 per locule; style 1, columnar; stigmas 3, 2-lobed; staminodes 5 (4 in approximate pairs), linear. Fruits pepos, orange-red [red or green], oblong-ovoid [ellipsoid], longitudinally furrowed [smooth], densely hispid-hirsute to hirsute or hirsute-villous, irregularly dehiscent. Seeds 100–200, obovoid, flattened, not arillate, margins not differentiated, surface smooth. x = 9.
Introduced; e Asia, Africa
Species ca. 23 (1 in the flora).