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Pest Information

Balsampear

Balsampear

  • Latin Name: Momordica Sp.
  • Common Name: Balsampear
  • Other Names: Wild balsam apple

Pest Details

Balsampear
Balsampear
Balsampear

Origin:

Introduced to the southeastern states, and probably native to Asia.

Biology:

Annual vine which reproduces from seeds. Plants grow as fast-growing vines that trail over fences and shrubs, rapidly covering large areas with leaves, stems, and fruit. The fruit of some varieties is edible and the plants are cultivated for it, while foliage of other varieties may have some toxic qualities to it.

Identification:

Mature plants grow many feet long, with narrow, flexible stems twining over and through other plant growth. The tendrils are long and strong, leaves are large and deeply lobate, usually with 5 large, expanded lobes. Flowers have 5 bright yellow petals that are joined at their bases, and may be several inches across. The highly distinctive seed pod is bright orange, elongate egg-shaped, and covered with longitudinal ridges and pointed bumps. The fruit may be up to 3 inches long, eventually opening wide to expose the reddish interior and the seeds.

Characteristicts Important to Control:

Physical removal is effective, particularly when the vines are encroaching onto other desirable plants. Removal of the seed pods is necessary to prevent new plants from sprouting.

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