Assamese: saijna, sohjna
Burmese: daintha, dandalonbin
Chinese: la ken
English: drumstick tree, Horseradish tree, ben tree
French: moringe à graine ailée, morungue
Gujarati: midhosaragavo, saragavo
Hindi: mungna, saijna, shajna
Konkani: maissang, moring, moxing
Malayalam: murinna, sigru
Marathi: achajhada, shevgi
Nepali: shobhanjan, sohijan
Portuguese: moringa, moringueiro
Punjabi: sainjna, soanjna
Sanskrit: shobhanjana, sigru
Spanish: ángela, ben, moringa
Swahili: mrongo, mzunze
Tamil: moringa, murungai
Telegu: mulaga, munaga, tellamunaga
The Moringa tree prefers well-drained sandy or loam soil. It will tolerate a clay soil but not water logging. Moringa Tree grow quickly even in poor soil and bloom 8 months after planting. Every part of the Moringa Oleifera tree, from the roots to the leaves has beneficial properties that can serve humanity. It looses its leaves from December to January and new growth starts in February to March. The Moringa tree is rather slender, with drooping branches that grow to approximately 10 m in height. Moringa tree grows best in the hot, semi-arid tropics. It is drought-tolerant and grows with rainfalls of 250-1500 mm (10-60 in) per year. Altitudes below 600 m (2000 ft) are best for the Moringa; however, it grows up to 1200 m (4000 ft) in some tropical areas and has been recorded growing at 2000 m (6000 ft). In cultivation, it is often cut back annually to 1 meter or less and allowed to re grow so that pods and leaves remain within arm’s reach. Moringa tree is a fast-growing, drought-resistant tree; it is considered one of the world’s most useful trees.
Morphology of Moringa Tree
Moringa oleifera tree is a small, fast-growing evergreen or deciduous tree that usually grows up to 10 or 12 m in height. Moringa Tree has a spreading, open crown of drooping, fragile branches, feathery foliage of tri pinnate leaves, and thick, corky, whitish bark.
Leaves and young shoots of Moringa tree
The leaves of Moringa tree are bi pinnate or more commonly tri pinnate, up to 45 cm long, and are alternate and spirally arranged on the twigs. leaflets are 1.2 to 2.0 cm long and 0.6 to 1.0 cm wide, the lateral leaflets elliptic, the terminal ones obovate; petioles of ateral leaflets are 1.5 to 2.5 mm long, those of terminal ones 3 to 6 mm long. The leaflets are finely hairy, green and almost hairless on the upper surface, paler and hairless beneath, with red-tinged mid veins, with entire (not toothed) margins, and are rounded or blunt-pointed at the apex and short-pointed at the base. The twigs are finely hairy and green, becoming brown.
Flowers, fruits and seeds of Moringa Tree
The fragrant, bisexual, yellowish white flowers are borne on slender, hairy stalks in spreading or drooping axillary clusters (panicles) 10–25 cm long. Individual flowers, set in a basal cup (hypanthium) ca. 3 mm long, are approximately 0.7 to 1 cm long and 2 cm broad, with five unequal yellowish-white, thinly veined, spathulate petals, five stamens with five smaller sterile stamens (staminodes), and a pistil composed of a 1-celled ovary and slender style. The fruits are pendulous, linear, three-sided pods with nine longitudinal ridges, usually 20 to 50 cm long, but occasionally up to 1 m or longer, and 2.0 to 2.5 cm broad. The pods, each usually containing up to 26 seeds, are dark green during their development, and take approximately 3 months to mature after flowering. They turn brown on maturity, and split open longitudinally along the three angles, releasing the dark brown, trigonous seeds. Seeds measure about 1 cm in diameter, with three whitish papery wings on the angles. Seed weights differ among varieties, ranging from 3,000 to 9,000 seeds per kilogram.
Distribution of Moringa Tree
Moringa tree is indigenous to the Himalayan foothills of South Asia from northeastern Pakistan (33 °N, 73 °E) to northern West Bengal State in India and northeastern Bangladesh where it is commonly found from sea level to 1,400 m on recent alluvial land or near riverbeds and streams. It grows at elevations from sea level to 1400 m.