Bitter gourd

Bitter gourd

Scientific name: Momordica charantia L.

Bangla/local name: ‘Karola’







Taxonomic Position According to Cronquist (1988)

Kingdom      :Plantae

Phyllum       :Magnoliophyta

Class            :Magnoliopsida

Order           :Cucurbitales

Family         :Cucurbitaceae

Genus          :Momordica

Species:       :M. charantia

Botanical Description of Bitter Gourd

Habit: An annual, climbing herb.


Bitter gourd

Stem: ranched, puberulous, 1-2 m long. Tendrils up to 20 cm long, puberulous, simple.

Stem anatomy bitter gourd

Leaves: Leaves reniform or suborbicular, 4-12 cm long and as broad, both surfaces glabrous, prominently nerved, 5-7 lobed, lobes ovate-oblong, base pubescent,  petioles slender, white-pubescent at first, glabrescent.

Leaf anatomy bitter gourd


Plants are monoecoius.

Male flowers: solitary, peduncles slender,glabrous,bract foliaceous,5-15 mm long and as broad,reniform or orbicular-cordate, mucronate, entire, shortly pubescent, calyx lobes ovate-lanceolate, white-pubescent, 4-6 x 2-3 mm, corolla yellow, lobes obovate, obtuse or retuse, 15-20 x 8-12 mm, pubescent.

Flower of bitter gourd

Female flowers: peduncles 5-10 cm long, often bracteate at the base, calyx and corolla as in the male, ovary fusiform, .rostrate, muriculate, style slender, stigmas 2-lipped.


Fruits:Fruits large, 8-20 cm long, not tapering at both ends, muricate-tuberculate, oblong, 3-valved.

Fruit of bitter gourd

Seeds:Seeds numerous, compressed, base and apex sub- tridentate, sculptured on surfaces.

Economic Importance: The fruit is used as vegetable. The fruits are considered as tonic and carminative and are used in gout and diseases of liver and spleen. Juice from various plant parts is used externally for skin diseases and is ingested to cure arthritis, rheumatism and asthma. Fruits of the wild form are used as febrifuge.

Table 1. Bitter gourd variety developed by BARI, Joydebpur, Gazipur


Sl. No.Name of VarietyDeveloped byGrowing SeasonYield
1BARI  Karola-1HRC, BARIKharif24-27 t/ha


BARI  Karola-2HRC, BARIKharif21 t/ha


BARI  Karola-3HRC, BARIKharif21 t/ha


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