Momordica Rostrata * Medicinal * Cucurbitaceae * Unusual * Very Rare * 3 Seeds
This member of the Cucurbitaceae family was described by Philipp William Albrecht Zimmermann in 1922, and is found in Kenya. It preferring a well-drained soil, plenty of water in growth and some sun. The caudex will grow to 30 centimetres in diameter, the vines can reach seven metres. The flowers are yellow, and it can only be reproduced from seeds. The name comes from Mordio: "To bite" after the bitten appearance of the seeds. The species name means 'with a beak'. The fruits are orange, and look a little like a fat chili. Momordica rostrata is in the Cucurbitaceae family along with familiar plants such as cucumbers and squash. The plants have a large root caudex, which stores water during the dry seasons. The caudex is mostly exposed above ground. The color of the caudex can be green or green with a layer of light brown skin on parts of the caudex. The caudex shape is irregular. The caudex measures 6 inches tall and about 5.5 inches wide. In habitat, M. rostrata can grow to over 2 feet tall. The species has long, thin, vining stems that grow out of the top of the caudex and can reach up to 23 feet long. Using tendrils, the stems wrap around the branches of the plants they are growing near. M. rostrata can suffocate the “host” plants with its dense vines and leaves. The leaves have three leaflets and usually two or three sub-leaflets. The leaf edges are wavy. They are glabrous (free from hairs), but not shiny.
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