Foetid Melon

Momordica foetida (?)

a bad-smelling cucumber, Momordica, photo © by Michael Plagens

Observed in a pasture plot near Eldoret, Kenya, Africa. December 2012.

HERBACEOUS VINE: Herbaceous vine from a perennial, tuberous root. Tendrils from nodes assist in clinging to supports.

flower of Momordica foetida

FLOWERS: The flowers are whitish with pleated petals. Separate male and female flowers.

LEAVES: Leaves are heart shaped at base and taper to a triangular point. The margins are toothed and the upper surface is set with short, stiff hairs.

RANGE: This plant is native to many parts of Africa south of the Sahara and has been used for food and medicinally.

FRUIT: The ellipsoid fruit as it matures develops numerous brightly colored fleshy projections. The mature, dry fruit splits open along three seems revealing black seeds within a red, sticky aril.


Cucurbitaceae -- Cucumber Family

More Information:

Kenya Natural History

Copyright Michael J. Plagens, Created on 28 June 2013.