Bitter Melon (Momordica Charantia) 6 seeds (#963)
Approximately 6-8 seeds in 2 g packet.
This herbaceous, tendril-bearing vine grows to 5 m. It bears simple, alternate leaves 4–12 cm across, with three to seven deeply separated lobes. Each plant bears separate yellow male and female flowers. In the Northern Hemisphere, flowering occurs during June to July and fruiting during September to November.
The fruit has a distinct warty exterior and an oblong shape. It is hollow in cross-section, with a relatively thin layer of flesh surrounding a central seed cavity filled with large, flat seeds and pith. The fruit is most often eaten green, or as it is beginning to turn yellow. At this stage, the fruit's flesh is crunchy and watery in texture, similar to cucumber, chayote or green bell pepper, but bitter. The skin is tender and edible. Seeds and pith appear white in unripe fruits; they are not intensely bitter and can be removed before cooking.
As the fruit ripens, the flesh (rind) becomes somewhat tougher and more bitter, and many consider it too distasteful to eat. On the other hand, the pith becomes sweet and intensely red; it can be eaten uncooked in this state, and is a popular ingredient in some Southeast Asian salads.
When the fruit is fully ripe, it turns orange and mushy, and splits into segments which curl back dramatically to expose seeds covered in bright red pulp.
It has a bitter taste because of the presence of momordicin. Momordicin is one of the several compounds found in the bitter melon vine.
Requires a rich, well-drained moisture retentive soil and a warm, very sunny position. A frost-tender annual plant, the snap melon is occasionally cultivated, especially in warmer climates than Britain, for its edible fruit.
This form is also of value in breeding programmes for pest and disease resistance.
Grows well with corn and sunflowers but dislikes potatoes. The weeds fat hen and sow thistle improve the growth and cropping of melons.
Information source: wikipedia.org.
Genus - Momordica
Species - Charantia
Common name - Bitter Melon
Pre-Treatment - Not-required
Hardiness zones - 3 - 11
Height - 5 m
Plant type - Vegetable, Annual climber
Exposure - Full Sun
Growth rate - Fast
Soil PH - Acis, neutral, alkaline
Soil type - Rich, well drained
Water requirements - Average, high
Landscape uses - Fast growing climber, edible fruits
Bloom season - June - July
Leaf / Flower color - Green / Yellow
Sow early to mid spring in a greenhouse or inside in pots in a rich soil.
Sow 2 or 3 seeds per pot and thin out to the best plant.
Germination should take place within 2 weeks.
Grow them on fast and plant out after the last expected frosts, giving them cloche or frame protection for at least their first few weeks if you are trying them outdoors.