Tender Ray-Flower Gourd
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Tender Ray-Flower Gourd
P Native Photo: Sushain Babu
Common name: Tender Ray-Flower Gourd
Botanical name: Actinostemma tenerum var. tenerum    Family: Cucurbitaceae (Pumpkin family)
Synonyms: Actinostemma parvifolium, Momordica paina, Karivia longicirrha

Tender Ray-Flower Gourd is a herbacious climber with branches thin, slender, slightly hairy when young, hairless. Flowers are white with petals lanceshaped, about 2-3 x 1-1.5 mm at base, scarcely hairy, tip narrowly tapering. Sepals segments linear-lanceshaped, about 2-3 x 0.5-1 mm, margin toothed. Male flowers are borne in many flowered racemes, sometimes in panicles, main axis about 1-13 cm. Female flowers are borne singly or in fascicles; about 2 cm long. Leaves are simple, alternate, spiral; leaf-stalk about 2-6 cm, thread-like, slightly finely velvet-hairy; blade about 2-8 x 1-4 cm, narrowly ovate to arrow shapedly trilobed, deeply notched at base, tapering at tip, margin minutely finely toothed, dotted-rough above, hairless beneath. Fruits are about 1.5-2 cm long, about 1 cm thick, ovoid-conical, half superior, covered with rough point. Seeds are about 1-2 x 0.7-0.8 cm, netveined. Tender Ray-Flower Gourd is found in India, Himalayas, China to SE Asia. Flowering: July-September.

Identification credit: Sushain Babu Photographed in Bijnor, Uttar Pradesh.Sushai

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