Cucurbitaceae Momordica charantia L.
Source: Magness et al. 1971
The balsam pear plant is an annual running vine, to 10 feet or more, with near round, lobed leaves. The fruit is 4 to 6 inches long, oblong, pointed and furrowed lengthwise. When full ripe it splits into 3 divisions. The immature fruit is boiled as a vegetable. A pulpy aril surrounds the seeds, which is esteemed by Orientals. In culture, similar to cucumber. The related balsam apple has a smaller, egg-shaped fruit, and is used in a similar manner.
Production in U.S.: No data. Mainly oriental gardeners.
Use: As boiled vegetable. Seed arils eaten out of hand.
Part of plant consumed: Whole immature fruits. Seed arils.