On the occurrence, distribution and taxonomy of Momordica subangulata Blume subsp. renigera (G. Don) de Wilde in India

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Different authors in India and South East Asia treat dioecious species in the genus Momordica differently. The cultivated ‘bhat karela’ of East and North East India is referred to as Momordica dioica Roxb. by botanists and herbarium curators whereas agricultural scientists, in general, designate it as Momordica cochinchinensis Spreng. A critical study of 266 herbarium sheets housed at CAL and BSISH and in situ field studies at specific pockets in the North East India followed by preliminary characterization revealed its correct identity as Momordica subangulata Blume subsp. renigera (G. Don) de Wilde. First hand information on its occurrence, taxonomy and distribution in India is given. The species was found in wild as well as in homestead cultivation in North Eastern India and exemplify direct utilization of biodiversity by indigenous people.

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