General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Vine
Life cycle: Annual
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Plant Height: 12 to 15 feet
Fruit: Showy
Edible to birds
Fruiting Time: Fall
Late fall or early winter
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: Yellow
Bloom Size: Under 1"
Flower Time: Summer
Late summer or early fall
Underground structures: Taproot
Uses: Medicinal Herb
Edible Parts: Leaves
Eating Methods: Tea
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Resistances: Humidity tolerant

Common names
  • Bitter Gourd
  • Bitter Cucumber
  • Melao-de-Sao-Caetano
  • Balsam Pear
  • La-Kwa

  • Posted by plantladylin (Sebastian, Florida - Zone 10a) on Jul 17, 2017 11:20 AM concerning plant:
    Momordica charantia, a member of the Cucumber (Cucurbitaceae) family of plants, has escaped cultivation here in Florida, becoming a real pest in many areas. In 2013, the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council listed it as a Category II non-native invasive here in the state. Its range in Florida extends throughout the central and southern part of the state, but it is also present in parts of the panhandle. Bitter Gourd forms a dense groundcover and also forms dense thickets, covering shrubs and other vegetation as well as climbing high into trees where it grows along with native air plants (Tillandsia species).

    The fruit and leaves of Momordica charantia are said to have medicinal purposes, but the seeds are highly toxic.
  • Posted by QueenEmma (South Georgia - Zone 8a) on Jun 24, 2013 6:58 AM concerning plant:
    just information: This is a popular plant in India and if you have any friends from India they will know and probably have this gem. It reduces blood sugar.
  • Posted by Freejesh on Aug 12, 2017 11:24 PM concerning plant:
    Hi All,

    I do practice terrace vegetable garden and would like to share my blog post on bitter gourd here.

Plant Events from our members
piksihk On July 10, 2021 Harvested
Cousin Lai - white bitter melon seeds
piksihk On September 13, 2020 Fruit Ripened
piksihk On July 23, 2018 Fruit Ripened
seeds self-sowed from last year; mom's
harvested two over riped melons
piksihk On October 24, 2017 Fruit Ripened
piksihk On April 26, 2017 Transplanted
HW garden
piksihk On March 11, 2017 Seeds sown
Unknown variety-
piksihk On March 19, 2015 Seeds sown
» Post your own event for this plant

Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Bitter veggie, but very healthy to eat, if you can by tarev Feb 7, 2015 9:35 PM 1

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