Momordica calantha Gilg

First published in Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 34: 351 (1904)
This species is accepted
The native range of this species is E. DR Congo to Kenya and N. Mozambique. It is a climbing tuberous geophyte and grows primarily in the wet tropical biome.

Descriptions

Cucurbitaceae, C. Jeffrey. Flora Zambesiaca 4. 1978

Morphology General Habit
Stems scandent to 4 m., glabrous or shortly pubescent, arising from tuberous rootstock.
Morphology Leaves
Leaf-lamina 5·5–16·5 × 5·5–15 cm., ovate to broadly ovate in outline, cordate, sinuate-denticulate, finely pubescent on veins beneath, shortly hispid above, unlobed or usually palmately 3–5-lobed, central lobe largest, triangular to broadly ovate-triangular or rarely narrowly elliptic, shortly acutely-acuminate, apiculate, lateral lobes shorter.
Morphology Leaves Petiole
Petiole 1–6·3 cm. long, shortly hispid or scabrid.
Morphology General Tendrils
Tendrils 2-fid.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
male flowers 5–24 in minutely bracteate umbelliform fascicles; peduncle 0·6–4·5 cm. long; bract up to 2·5 mm. long; pedicels 7–32 mm. long. Receptacle-tube 3–9 mm. long, lobes 3–8 mm. long, oblong, ovate-triangular or triangular, acute to rounded, more or less keeled, green or brownish-green. Petals 2·0–3·0 cm. long, white, black at the base, oblong, rounded, recurved. Female flowers solitary, shortly pedicellate; ovary c. 13 × 3–5 mm., ellipsoid, shortly tomentose; receptacle-tube 1 mm. long, lobes c. 8–9 mm. long, linear-lanceolate, acute, recurved; petals 2·1–2·3 cm. long, oblong, rounded.
sex Male
male flowers 5–24 in minutely bracteate umbelliform fascicles; peduncle 0·6–4·5 cm. long; bract up to 2·5 mm. long; pedicels 7–32 mm. long. Receptacle-tube 3–9 mm. long, lobes 3–8 mm. long, oblong, ovate-triangular or triangular, acute to rounded, more or less keeled, green or brownish-green. Petals 2·0–3·0 cm. long, white, black at the base, oblong, rounded, recurved.
sex Female
Female flowers solitary, shortly pedicellate; ovary c. 13 × 3–5 mm., ellipsoid, shortly tomentose; receptacle-tube 1 mm. long, lobes c. 8–9 mm. long, linear-lanceolate, acute, recurved; petals 2·1–2·3 cm. long, oblong, rounded.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Fruit 5–6·7 × 3·5–4·6 cm., oblong-ellipsoid, smooth, more or less pubescent, bright red, indehiscent; fruit-stalk 3·5 cm. long.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seeds 15–18 × 8–9 × 4–6 mm., oblong, compressed; faces sculptured, margins grooved.
[FZ]

Cucurbitaceae, C. Jeffrey. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 1967

Morphology General Habit
Perennial herb climbing to 4 m.; roots tuberous.
Morphology Stem
Stems herbaceous, green, glabrous or pubescent.
Morphology Leaves
Leaf-blade broadly ovate, ovate-cordate or triangular-cordate in outline, acute and apiculate, sinuate-toothed, pubescent or scabrid-hairy especially above and on the nerves beneath, 55–165 mm. long, 55–150 mm. broad, unlobed or more often 3(–5)-lobed; lobes sub-triangular, broadest at the base, rarely narrowly long-elliptic; petiole pubescent, 10–55 mm. long.
Morphology General Tendrils
Tendrils bifid.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Monoecious. Female flowers shortly stalked; ovary ovoid-fusiform, ± 13 mm. long and 5 mm. across, pubescent; receptacle-tube shallow; lobes strap-shaped, ± 8 mm. long, reflexed after fall of corolla; petals lingulate, rounded and slightly apiculate, ± 23 mm. long and 8 mm. broad, pubescent. Male flowers 5–24, umbelliform on a 6–45 mm. long peduncle with all parts pubescent, sometimes densely so; bract apical on the peduncle, minute, up to 2.5 × 1 mm.; pedicels 7–32 mm. long, persistent after fall of flower; receptacle-tube broadly campanulate-obconic, pubescent, 3–9 mm. long; lobes oblong, ovate-triangular or triangular, acute, obtuse or rounded at the apex, pubescent, sometimes densely soft-hairy, glabrous at the margins, bluntly to sharply keeled beneath, 3–8 mm. long, green or brownish-green; corolla pure white or tinged pale orange-cream, black at the centre, campanulate-urceolate; petals oblong-lingulate, recurved, apically rounded, 20–25 mm. long, 5–10 mm. broad, each with 2 rows of short papilla-like hairs, 2 with incurved scales inside at the base; stamens (fig. 2/4a, 4b, p. 18) 3; anthers connate; connectives narrow; thecae triplicate.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences Bracts
Probracts orbicular, glandular, sessile, 1.5–4.5 mm. in diameter.
sex Male
Male flowers 5–24, umbelliform on a 6–45 mm. long peduncle with all parts pubescent, sometimes densely so; bract apical on the peduncle, minute, up to 2.5 × 1 mm.; pedicels 7–32 mm. long, persistent after fall of flower; receptacle-tube broadly campanulate-obconic, pubescent, 3–9 mm. long; lobes oblong, ovate-triangular or triangular, acute, obtuse or rounded at the apex, pubescent, sometimes densely soft-hairy, glabrous at the margins, bluntly to sharply keeled beneath, 3–8 mm. long, green or brownish-green; corolla pure white or tinged pale orange-cream, black at the centre, campanulate-urceolate; petals oblong-lingulate, recurved, apically rounded, 20–25 mm. long, 5–10 mm. broad, each with 2 rows of short papilla-like hairs, 2 with incurved scales inside at the base; stamens (fig. 2/4a, 4b, p. 18) 3; anthers connate; connectives narrow; thecae triplicate.
sex Female
Female flowers shortly stalked; ovary ovoid-fusiform, ± 13 mm. long and 5 mm. across, pubescent; receptacle-tube shallow; lobes strap-shaped, ± 8 mm. long, reflexed after fall of corolla; petals lingulate, rounded and slightly apiculate, ± 23 mm. long and 8 mm. broad, pubescent.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Fruit (fig. 3/6, p. 25) shortly stalked, fleshy, velvety, indehiscent, smooth, bright scarlet, 50–63 mm. long, 35–43 mm. across, crowned with the enlarged 14–15 mm. long reflexed persistent strap-shaped receptacle-lobes.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seeds (fig. 3/10, p. 25) embedded in pockets of sticky translucent pulp when fresh, dark brown, oblong, compressed, 15–18 × 8–9 × 4–6 mm.; testa sculptured; margins smooth, widely and shallowly grooved.
Figures
Fig. 2/1, p. 18.
Habitat
Margins of rain- and ground-water forests, and valley grasslands; 600–1800 m.
Distribution
K4 T2 T3 T6 U4 not known elsewhere
[FTEA]

Extinction risk predictions for the world's flowering plants to support their conservation (2024). Bachman, S.P., Brown, M.J.M., Leão, T.C.C., Lughadha, E.N., Walker, B.E. https://nph.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/nph.19592

Conservation
Predicted extinction risk: not threatened. Confidence: confident
[AERP]

Sources

  • Angiosperm Extinction Risk Predictions v1

    • Angiosperm Threat Predictions
    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0
  • Flora Zambesiaca

    • Flora Zambesiaca
    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
  • Flora of Tropical East Africa

    • Flora of Tropical East Africa
    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
  • Herbarium Catalogue Specimens

    • Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
  • Kew Backbone Distributions

    • The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Vascular Plants 2024. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and https://powo.science.kew.org/
    • © Copyright 2023 World Checklist of Vascular Plants. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0
  • Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone

    • The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Vascular Plants 2024. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and https://powo.science.kew.org/
    • © Copyright 2023 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Vascular Plants. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0