Neighbours talking over the garden gate has long been a tradition. They share gardening tips, complain about the weather and pests yet are ever eager to discuss their gardens. That is what I had in mind when creating this blog. So stop by my garden gate to find out the latest happenings in my garden.

Happy Gardening!

Garden Gnome
"All my life through, the new sights of Nature made me rejoice like a child." ~ Madame Marie Curie"

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Balsam Apple (Momordic charantia)

Balsam Apple Seed Pod
(Momordic charantia)
September 22, 2010

I have taught my husband well!  He was out on the golf course with a couple of buddies and spotted a rather interesting plant so he brought me home a seed pod for identification.  Despite warnings he should not touch unknown plants just in case apparently this plant did not pose a warning for him.  I now have to get him used to taking pictures of the actual plants.  At any rate with just the seed pod I was able to quickly identify the plant as being Momordic charantia or commonly balsam apple, balsam pear or bitter melon.  The seed pod is bright orange and knobby ridged.  Inside the seed pod there are bright red seeds surrounded by  a gelatinous protective coating as pictured.  This plant is classified as an annual weed.  There is some indication that there are medicinal uses for reducing blood sugar but the fruit coat, ripe fruits and seeds are toxic when ingested in large quantities.  I will be looking to get pictures of the actual plant.  It should be easy to identify with this unique type of seed pod.

Happy Gardening!

Garden Gnome


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