Moringa oleifera

Accession Count: 5
Common Name: Horseradish Tree, Moringa, Drumstick Tree
Family Name: Moringaceae
Botanical Name: Moringa oleifera
Sub Species:
Variety:
Forma:
Cultivar:
Characteristics:
Compound: Mor ole
Geographic Origin: India
Ecozone Origin: Indomalaya
Biome Origin:
Natural History: Native to India, this species was introduced to Arizona, California and Florida to be used in the restoration of disturbed areas. Mostly commonly used in agriculture, it is also used as an ornamental, screen and has many medical uses. (1)
Cultivation Notes: Prefers well-drained sandy soils, and can be cultivated both from seed and cuttings. If started from seed, it should be planted about an inch down in the soil at any time during the year, but should not be exposed to extreme low temperatures. Does not need supplemental water once established. If starting from cutting, cut a 3-7 foot cutting and place in the ground between the months of June and August (1).
Ethnobotany: Moringa oleifera is an almost completely edible plant. Pair this with its fast-growing nature and it makes a perfect combination for a garden plant. (1). Not only are the leaves, flowers, seeds and roots edible but after extracting oil from the seed the left over presscake “contains one of the most powerful plant-derived flocculants known, used for clarifying turbid water,” making it a clean, cheap alternative to conventional synthetic coagulants. The tree has also been utilized for its medicinal value and is known for its antimicrobial properties (2).

Horseradish leaves are said to contain 7 times the vitamin C of oranges, 4 times the calcium in milk, 4 times the vitamin A in carrots, 3 times the potassium in bananas, and 2 times the protein in milk. The seed pods are also very popular as a food in Indian curries and pickles. Vegetable oil can be obtained from the seeds which has a variety of uses, from cooking to lubrication to perfume. The mash left over from oil extraction can be used for fertilizer. A ground powder and water mixture from the seeds is used to purify water. A blue dye can be obtained from the wood. The bark can produce fiber for ropes and mats, and contains tannin for tanning hides. In addition, M. oleifera is prized for its application in traditional medicine. It is used to make antibiotics, aids in childbirth, treats liver disorders, stomach disorders, and diarrhea, and is a cold remedy and powerful antioxidant.

Height: 20 - 50 feet
Width:
Growth Rate: Fast Growing
Grow Season: Spring
Flower Season: Summer
Color: Yellow
Function: Habitat
Spread: Non-spreading
Allergen: Non-allergenic
Invasive: Benign
Toxicity: Benign
Hardy: Tender
Water Use: Low water Use
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Moringa oleifera