Physical description It is a dioecious rr

' , . . .. , . , Common names: Samongnway

stout and perennial climber which grows (Burma) ; mu pieh tzu, fan muh pee

in hcha Southeast Asia and China.The (Chinese); daygae (Vietnamese);

stems are pilose at the apex and rugose. karka (Sanskrit).

Leaves: simple, alternate and without stipules. The petiole is 1.5cm-2.7cm long and thin, pilose at first, somewhat twisted, and channeled. The blade is cordate, leathery, 6cm-12cm x 7 cm-9 cm and molted with numerous microscopic 2-5-lobed bodies underneath. The margin is recurved and laxly toothed. The blade shows 4-8 pairs of secondary nerves. The tertiary nerves are scalariform, and the midrib is raised on both surfaces of the blade. The tendrils are axillary, spring-shaped and 4.5 cm-12 cm long. The inflorescences are axillary and solitary. The flower pedicels are 2.5cm-15cm long, angularly furrowed and pilose. The calyx is pilose, 5-lobed, 1.3 cm-1.6 cm long, and the sepals are oblong, lanceolate and acute.

The corolla is white, tinged with yellow, and consists of 5, 5.7 cm x 2.5 cm, obovate and oblong petals. The fruits are 4cm-10cm in diameter, globose, spiny red berries. The seeds are compressed and ovoid (Fig. 116).

Uses: In Burma, the seeds of Momordica cochinchinensis (Lour.) Spreng. are eaten to assuage chest pain. In China, the seeds are eaten to treat fluxes, liver diseases, hemorrhoids, breast cancer and malaria, and to heal wounds and ulcers. In Indonesia, the leaves are applied externally to swollen legs. In Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, the seeds are used to counteract putrefaction of the skin. In the Philippines, the roots are used to produce soap.

Fig. 116. Momordica cochinchinensis (Lour.) Spreng. From: KLU Herbarium 039071. Flora of Sulawei Selatan. Field collector: SC Chin, 12 June 1986. Geographical localization: Maros, limestone Hills near Leangleang. Botanical identification: de Wide 1996.

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