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Balsam Pear

Balsam Pear

Common Name: Balsam Pear

 

Scientific Name: Momordica charantia

Description: Tropical vine grown as a garden annual; bright yellow flowers followed by curious, oblong, yellow-orange warty fruits that burst open when ripe; attractive, glossy green foliage

Size: Grows 12 to 15 feet high

Cultural Information: Prefers full sun to light shade and well-drained garden loam

Historical Notes: This unusual vine from the Old World tropics has been cultivated for its edible fruits since the early 1700s.1 Bernard McMahon listed this species among “tender annual flowers” in his book.2 It is generally lumped with the balsam apple, but the balsam pear has a "shorter vine and longer fruit."3

- Text from Center for Historic Plants Information Sheet

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