Local Vegetables of Thailand title
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Momordica charantia L. (Cucurbitaceae)
Vernacular name: mara ki nok
Common name: wild bitter gourd (English), nigauri (Japanese)

  Monoecious, annual climber, up to 4 m long. Stem 5 -angled. Tendrils simple. Leaves simple, alternate, pellucidly dotted, palmately veined; petiole c. 5 cm long; blade ovate-reniform or suborbicular, c. 2.5 -10 by 3-12.5 cm, base cordate, deeply palmately 3-9-lobed, lobes obovate. Flowers solitary, in the leaf axils, bisexual, c. 3 cm in diameter, yellow; pedicellate, 1-2 cm in male flower, 0.2-4 cm in female flower. Calyx 5 lobed. Corolla 5 lobed. Stamen 5. Ovary inferior. Fruit a pepo, irregularly warty, orange when ripe, dehiscing from apex downwards to the base into 3 valved, 3-15 by 2-4 cm. Seed brown.
  Common weed in waste places and abundant land, prefer opened shade.
  Young fruits and shoots of wild bitter gourd are collected year round and are eaten raw or as dipping in chili sauces or in the form of curry. It was claimed to be anti-diabetic and anti-pyretic.
  The plant is easily grown from direct seeding and with vertical support. It can be grown year round provided that water is available.


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