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Balsam Apple

Peggy Cornett of the Thomas Jefferson Center for Historic Plants recommends Momordica balsamina, or balsam apple. This fast-growing vine will provide lush foliage and bursts of orange color from its fruits.

Plant name: Balsam apple

Botanical name: Momordica balsamina

Suggested by: Peggy Cornett, Thomas Jefferson Center for Historic Plants

Virtues: Fast-growing and carefree; covers a trellis quickly with dense, lush foliage; bears warty bright orange fruits that burst open when ripe.

Flower: Delicate, pale yellow and simple.

Foliage: Very clean, glossy, light green, deeply lobed and serrated.

Habit: Vining to at least 15 feet.

Season: Midsummer through frost.

Companions: Cypress vine, balsam pear and just about any summer-flowering display.