Momordica sahyadrica Kattuk. & V.T.Antony, Nordic J. Bot. 24: 541 2006 publ. 2007. ?;
Tendrillar dioecious, perennial climbers, tuberous tap root fusiform when young, subglobose or irregularly bulged when mature, 10-18 x 5-10 cm; tendrils unbranched, 8-15 cm long, the basal 4-5 cm uncoiled. Leaves alternate, 10-16 x 8-18 cm, ovate or broadly triangular in outline, sometimes hastate, entire or 3-5 lobed, base deeply cordate, apex acute or acuminate, margin entire, undulate or coarsely crenulate, lateral veins 5-7 pairs, the lower pair running close to the margin of the basal sinus, hairs short, scattered, white; petiole 3-8 cm long, 1-1.5 mm thick. Male flowers axillary, solitary or a loose fascicle of 5-7 flowers; peduncle 2-5 cm long, pedicels 0.8-1 cm long, subtended by a reniform bract, to 3 x 3 cm, margins cuccullate; sepals free, elliptic oblong, ca 1 x 0.6 cm, yellowish white at center and blackish purple at base and margins; petals free, obovate, ca 4 x 2.5 cm, bright yellow with a narrow greenish yellow base, veins prominent, three petals with a small tongue-like ciliate appendage near the base; stamens 3, two of them with a pair of anthers, the other with a single anther, yellowish orange, filaments up to 3 mm long, anthers 2-3 x 1-2 mm, extrorse, thecae dull black. Female flowers solitary, axillary; peduncle 0.5-2 cm long; pedicel up to 2 cm long, subtended either by a small rudimentary (1.3 x 0.5-5 mm) or reniform ca 2 x 2 cm bract; sepals green, persistent, lanceolate, 0.8-1.3 x 1-3 mm, acuminate, densely glandular hairy within and without; petals ca 4 x 2 cm, greenish yellow and ciliate at base; staminodes 5 (2+2+1), white, cylindrical, touching the style, alternating with sepals, protected by a spur at the base of petals; ovary oblong-ovoid, 1-1.5 x 0.3-0.5 cm, more or less densely clothed with soft papillae of ca 1 mm length; style ca 6 mm long, whitish yellow, stigma ca 4 x 9 mm, cushion-like, 3 lobed, each lobe again 2-lobed. Fruits broadly ellipsoid, or ovoid to fusiform, or with round base and rostrate apex, 5-7.5 x 3-4.2 cm, dark green, turning bright orange on ripening, densely clothed with soft short spines 2-4 mm long; pulp sweet when ripe, carmine red; seeds black, shining, round or slightly cogwheel-shaped, margin warty-dentate, sculptured on faces with irregular furrows and ridges, 6.2-7.7 x 5.4-6.9 mm, seed coat hard, brittle; endosperm oily, aromatica.
Flowering and fruiting: June-October
Moist deciduous and semi-evergreen forests
Western Ghats (endemic)
(Attributions- Dr. N Sasidharan (Dr. B P Pal Fellow), Kerala Forest Research Institute, Peechi from India Biodiversity Portal)
ID of climber 240412JP01: I need assistance in ID ing the Cucurbit Climber found on a roadside in Nashik, Maharashtra.
Have found similar plant that grows abundantly near OR outskirts of human habitat in the northern Western Ghats, … flowers profusely … ends up by OR after Ganesha festival.
In some of the villages near Varai – Saphale, the flowers are used to adorn Goddess Gauri.
Incidentally, they call the plant – divali — perhaps because of the bright yellow flowers contrasting in the undercover of larger trees.
… thus, could this be Luffa acutangula var. amara …
…, please wait for comments – my ID could be wrong.
Thank you for the prompt reply.
1. the fruit is much more spiney than bitter luffa.
3. The flowers are also raised on a long stalk almost 5cm long as seen in the images attached.
Catalogue of Life The Plant List Ver.1.1 India Biodiversity Portal Kerala plants Momordica sahyadrica sp. nov. (Cucurbitaceae), an endemic species of Western Ghats of India (Authors Joseph John Kattukunnel, V. T. Antony Volume 24, Issue 5 December 2004 Pages 539–542 Abstract Momordica sahyadrica is a new species occurring in a very narrow habitat range in Western Ghats of India. Formerly, material of it was placed under Momordica dioica, but it appeared distinct from that species in various morphological and ecological features. It is described and illustrated with a note on its distribution and ecology.)