Cucurbitaceae (Cucumber family)
Group: Dicot (Broadleaf)
A vigorous, tendril bearing summer annual vine, native of tropical and sub-tropical parts of Africa and Asia. Balsam apple grows rapidly to 10 feet or more and is commonly found in sugarcane fields, field margins, fence rows, and other disturbed sites.
Leaves are dark green, simple, alternate, 5 to 7 deeply palmately lobed, with sharply toothed margins, borne on long petioles.
Stems are climbing vines with tendrils, hairy, and grow 10 feet or longer.
Flowers are gourd-like, solitary, and light-yellow on long hairy stalks. Fruit is oblong, golden yellow to bright orange berry, covered with distinct blunt warts. Balsam apple looks like creeping cucumber but has larger and light-yellow flowers.
Propagation is by seed.
Roots are fibrous from a shallow taproot.