Biotype and plant adaptability // Momordica Charantia (Cucurbitaceae)

in StemSocial5 months ago

With this entry I will take up again the publications on Biotype and adaptability of plants, mainly aspects related to the agromorphological adaptability of Momordica Charantia (Cucurbitaceae), wild specimens of annual growth, herbaceous consistency and trailing mobility tactics. The article describes the agronomic potential, the particularity of generating cover avoiding the physical-chemical deterioration of the soil, while addressing the recognized nutritional and pharmacological capacity of this plant material.


Plant biological systems are characterized by their structural constitution in dominant vertical layers, organized fundamentally by communities of shrub and tree biotypes called canopy, which have been catalogued as the set of individuals located in the upper strata of plant habitats.

However, within biological plant systems, plant communities are also formed in horizontal layers, established essentially by species of herbaceous biotype, creeping and climbing growth, characterized by the inability to support themselves, biological aspect, which has allowed them to evolve and create phytomechanical structures, as a guarantee of support and attachment to adjacent supports, thus promoting growth, development and reproduction [1].

Consequently in the post, we will be describing the mechanism of morphological adaptability of the wild species Momordica Charantia (Cucurbitaceae), better known as Maravilla or Cundeamor, relating its behavior and potential for creeping and climbing growth.

Plant biotype and adaptability

Morphological adjustments and earrings

From the botanical point of view, the tendrils are evolved vegetative structures with a filamentous morphology, with touch-sensitive areas in the apex region, epidermal cells with cell walls with a high content of cellulose and hemicellulose that give them rigidity, and they also preserve abundant cholenchymatic cells (mechanical tissue) in the whole periphery with the capacity to roll up.

Fig. 2 Vegetative tendril of Maravilla Momordica Charantia (Cucurbitaceae). Author: @lupafilotaxia.

Therefore, organographically the tendrils are considered as morphological adjustments in the form of protuberances, characterized by the conservation in the cellular nuclei, genetic information for the perception and transmission of movements when receiving stimuli by external contacts.

Therefore, in this segment we will describe the main features or characteristics that the species of the family Cucurbitaceae Momordica Charantia has, within these; exponential vegetative growth mediated by vegetative tendrils, constant flowering throughout the year, allogamic reproductive efficiency, in addition to the nutritional and pharmacological capacity offered by its primary and secondary metabolites.

Biological characteristics

The Maravilla or Cundeamor Momordica Charantia, is categorized as a species of annual phenological duration, herbaceous consistency and organographic adaptability of camel condition, which determines that its vegetative and reproductive buds are located throughout the year between the first 50 cm from the ground.

Morphological adaptations

The morphological characteristics, observed in Momordica Charantia, are considerably homogeneous, therefore, its typology facilitates its adaptability to diverse vegetal biological systems and edafoclimatic conditions, both tropical and subtropical, standing out in addition to its creeping and climbing growth, fibrous roots, angular-looking branched stems, thin and structured in the form of a vine, with webbed leaf blades, ovate to reniform morphology, yellow, solitary, flared flowers and fused anthers, dehiscent fruit at maturity, black and flattened oblong seeds [2].

Fig. 3 Leaflets, simple and plameadas of Maravilla Momordica Charantia (Cucurbitaceae). Author: @lupafilotaxia.

Ecological breadth

Within the conditions of ecological amplitude, which allow the growth and reproduction of the Maravilla Momordica Charantia, there are tropical and subtropical environments, which present rainfall exceeding 2,800 millimeters per year, temperatures ranging from 25 and 35 ° C and soils preferably sandy loam texture, rich in organic matter and pH 5.5 to 6.5 [3].

Agronomic potential and utility

Soil protection

The crawling and climbing conditions of the Maravilla Momordica Charantia give it edaphic potential, taking into account that the vegetative cover of its organographic biomass creates a vegetal mantle, which acts reducing the degradation of the soil, diminishing the adverse effect that rain has on the biogeographic surfaces discovered, a behavior similar to that shown by species such as the fodder peanut Arachis pintoi [3] .

Fig. 4 Angular-looking, slender, vine-structured stems of the species Maravilla Momordica Charantia (Cucurbitaceae). Author: @lupafilotaxia.

Nutritional and pharmacological action

The physicochemical composition of Momordica Charantia, is a useful and important aspect in countries like Mexico, where its fruits are consumed in fresh state, fundamentally by the acceptable values of carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins A, B, C, besides minerals like; calcium, phosphorus, potassium and iron [4] .

On the other hand, in experimental determinations obtained by UV-visible spectrophotometry, it has been demonstrated the pharmacological value of Momordica Charantia leaves and fruits, by registering total flavonoid content and antioxidant activity [5] .

Fig. 5 Flores amarillas, solitarias, acampanadas y anteras fusionadas de Maravilla Momordica Charantia (Cucurbitaceae). Author: @lupafilotaxia.

Agro-morphological field study

Species and area of study

In order to socialize some agro-morphological responses that show the plant species of annual biotype, herbaceous consistency, creeping and climbing tactics, I will socialize with all of you a study on the growth habit and coverage potential of the Maravilla Momordica Charantia (Cucurbitaceae), the study area corresponds to the area of short cycle crops of UNESUR, a university institution located in Santa Barbara de Zulia - Venezuela.

Methodological approach

In order to determine the characteristics of creeping and climbing growth of the Maravilla Momordica Charantia (Cucurbitaceae), we proceeded to make agro-morphological observations that consisted of; characterizing the soil and botanical composition in situ, estimating the leaf biomass, as well as the ratio of occupation and coverage.

Agro-morphological results

Edaphology and botanical composition in situ

The area under study presents soils with a clay loam texture, slightly porous and with an acid pH. The dominant plant community is Momordica Charantia (Cucurbitaceae), followed by species of the genus Poaceae and broad-leaved specimens of the genus Cuscuta.

Fig. 6 Growth and vegetative dominance of Maravilla Momordica Charantia (Cucurbitaceae) specimens. Author: @lupafilotaxia.

Leaf and climbing biomass

In relation to the leaf and climbing biomass, the field results contrast a favorable behavior for Momordica Charantia, as it presents a higher biomass with an average of 5.71 kg m-2 of fresh leaf tissue and 1.56 kg m-2 of tendril-shaped vegetative structures.

Occupancy and coverage ratio

The dominance of the Maravilla Momordica Charantia, is notoriously superior in the sampled area, when registering 79 % of occupation and cover, element associated to the creeping and climbing growth of this species, whose biological behavior offers Bio-herbicide action on the arvens specimens of the Poaceae genus, and individuals of wide leaf of the Cuscuta genus.

Fig. 7 Vegetative and dominant growth of Maravilla Momordica Charantia (Cucurbitaceae) specimens over species of the genus poaceae. Author: @lupafilotaxia.

Fig. 8 Vegetative and dominant growth of specimens of Maravilla Momordica Charantia (Cucurbitaceae) on broad-leaved individuals of the genus Cuscuta. Author: @lupafilotaxia.


  • The content socialized in the post, is of promising importance for the Spanish-speaking professionals of the HIVE platform, particularly for those who exercise scientific-technical roles in the areas of agronomy and pharmacology, this because, in the published information, elements are developed that allow to know the main characteristics of morphological adaptability of Momordica Charantia, besides the potential and practical utility of this important vegetal resource, among which they stand out; edaphic protection by coverage and vegetative occupation, which provides the organographic biomass of this species in biogeographic surfaces discovered, in addition to the nutritional and pharmacological action resulting from the acceptable values of carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins A, B, C, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, iron, without forgetting the total flavonoid content and antioxidant activity that its leaves and ripe fruits present. On the other hand, the aspects considered in the post, offer descriptive information for future investigations where variables can be valued as for example; the capacity of ascent of this creeping and climbing species in conditions of competition by arbustive species.


[1] Robinson R., and Decker W. Cucurbits. CAB International, Wallingford, Oxon, U.K.; New York, N.Y. 1997;124-135. Article: Online access

[2] Dey S., Singh S., Chandel A., and Behera D. Genetic diversity of bitter gourd (Momordica charantia L.) genotypes revealed by RAPD markers and agronomic traits. Sci. Horticult. 2006; 109: 21-28. Article: Online access

[3] Portillo O. Evaluación del efecto de diferentes estructuras de soporte en el cultivo de cundeamor chino (Momordica charantia L). Fundación Hondureña de Investigación Agrícola. Programa de Hortalizas. Comayagua, Honduras. 2009; 14. Article: Online access

[4] Bakare R., Magbagbeola O., Akinwande A., and Okunowo O. Nutritional and chemical evaluation of Momordica charantia. Journal of Medicinal Plants Research. 2010; 4; 21: 189-2193. Article: Online access

[5] Grover J., and Yadav S. Pharmacological actions and potential uses of Momordica charantia: a review. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 2004; 93: 123-132. Article: Online access


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