Kitchen garden through foldscope

  • Jasveen Dua

Bitter gourd (Momordica charantia) of family Cucurbitaceae

My kitchen garden has seen a rich flush of bitter gourd fruits this season.  Bitter Gourd is a tendril-bearing vine that bears separate yellow male and female flowers. The leaves have  deeply dissected lobes and the fruit is oblong and warty in appearance.

Male flowers are more in number and each flower is seen to have a yellow center and a conical base, while female flowers have a green center and small bump at the base.

The pollen obtained from anthers were fixed on a slide and viewed under a foldscope. These were found to be tricolpate with three distinct cracks at the germ pore points.

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