ISI 2014-28. Momordica rostrata A. Zimmermann

This caudiciform cucurbit is widespread in tropical Africa from Ethiopia to Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. It is surprisingly uncommon in cultivation despite being one of the more resilient and satisfying to grow caudiciforms in the cucumber family. The caudex is irregularly conical, knobby and inflated-looking resembling a chicken drumstick. Produced from the tops of these are vining stems that climb with the aid of tendrils and can form thickened lianas that clamber into surrounding shrubs and trees. Showy, pubescent, 2.5 cm (1"), pastel orange flowers, if pollinated, form small, pendent, ovoid, orange fruits pointed at the apex. Given its tropical origins, it is best overwintered in a greenhouse or in the house but can be bedded out in summer to achieve more rapid caudex development. HBG 119763, $12.

bottom plant overview

Photo © 2014 by Karen Zimmerman. Images may not be used elsewhere without permission.

Published in the Cactus and Succulent Journal, Vol. 86 (2), March - April, 2014