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Spiny bitter gourd (Momordica cochinchinensis)

34_Spiny bitter gourd Fully ripe fruit-2_smweb

Common Names
Spiny bitter gourd, cochinchin gourd, sweet gourd (En); margose à piquants (Fr); pepino amargo espinoso, pepinillo del diablo, cundeamor (Sp); g?c (Vn); 木鱉子 (Cn)

Plant Distribution
East, South, and Southeast Asia, Australia

Edible Parts
Young leaves and flowers are eaten boiled or stir-fried; young fruit is boiled or used in soup after peeling rind; mature fruit cooked along with seeds to flavor and add red color to rice dishes for festive occasions.

Health values
Beta-carotene: low in shoots, extremely high in mature fruit; vitamin E: medium in shoots, high in fruit; folic acid: high in shoots; ascorbic acid: extremely high in shoots and green fruit; calcium: low in shoots and green fruit; iron: low in shoots and green fruit; protein: 3.0% in shoots, 0.9% in green fruit. Fleshy coverings of seeds are rich in lycopene.

Read more: Spiny bitter gourd, in Discovering Indigenous Treasures: Promising Indigenous Vegetables from Around the World. 2009. AVRDC – The World Vegetable Center.