M. balsamina, or Balsam Apple, is cultivated as an object of curiosity, and for its fruit, which is considered excellent, by tose who are in the habit of using it, for curing wounds.
It has fleshy, ovate fruit, remotely tubercled in longitudinal rows; smooth in the other parts; red when ripe, bursting irregularly, and dispersing the seeds with a spring.
The fruit is used in Syria for the same purpose that it is here. They cut it open when unripe, and infuse it in sweet oil, exposed to the sun for some days, until the oil has become red. This, dropped on cotton, is applied to a fresh wound. The fruit here is not picked until ripe, and then preserved in spirit. A piece of the fruit is bound upon a fresh wound, which is considered efficacious. A native of India; tender annual; a climber four feet high; flowers yellow, in July and August; time for planting in May.
M. charantia. - Balsam Pear. - Like the last, a tender annual, the same height and color of flower; growth and habits the same. Fruit fleshy, oblong, acuminate, angular-waisted; from the East Indies. This and the preceding must be supported with stout brush, four feet high.