Agmukhi or Madras pea pumpkin, Mukia maderaspatana
Agmukhi or Madras pea pumpkin (Mukia maderaspatana, family: Cucurbitaceae) is an annual much-branched climber with angular shoots and tendrils, attaining a length of 3-4 m. There are spine-looking hairs all over its body. It is found in village thickets and fallow lands scatteredly all over Bangladesh. Sometimes it is found grabbing spiny herbs or shrubs to survive with hostile condition properly. It is also found in some countries of South and Southeast Asia also.
Leaves are variable; mutilobed, usualy 3-5 lobed, can be found ovate and cordate at base, 5-9 cm long, both sides rough, dented irregularly, long-petioled, alternate.
Flowers are tiny, 1 cm across, bright yellow, calyx tubular, petals 5, sepals 5, stamens 3. Flowering occurs in August-December.
Fruits are hairy too. Green pea-sized fruits are stripped with two sahdes of green or green when raw and vivid red when mature. Flowers and fruits can be seen at a time on same plant. The plant is propagated by seeds.
Leaves and roots are used to treat hypertension, bronchitis, cold, cough, dysuria etc. Though the scandent herb has medicinal utilities but it is harmful to cattle indeed.
Synonyms: Bryonia althaeoides, Bryonia callosa, Bryonia gracilis, Bryonia hispida, Bryonia maderaspatana, Bryonia micrantha, Bryonia micropoda, Bryonia rottleri, Bryonia scabra, Bryonia scabrella, Cucumis maderaspatanus, Melothria altaeoides, Melothria maderaspatana, Mukia althaeoides, Mukia rottleri, Mukia scabrella, Trichosanthes dioica.
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