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Moringa oleifera

(Ben Oil Tree)

Overview

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Small tree from E. India with capsules about a foot long that split lengthwise into three segments. The young fruits, shoots , and flowers are used as a cooked vegetable, especially in the Philippines. Even the roots are source of edible condiment. A nondrying oil , "oil of ben," is obtained from the seeds.

Interesting Facts

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Common Names

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Click on the language to view common names.

Common Names in Arabic:

Habbah Ghaliah, Rawag (Sudan), Shagara Al Ruway (Sudan)

Common Names in Bambara:

Névrédé

Common Names in Bengali:

Saajanaa (Sajna)

Common Names in Burmese:

Dan Da Lun, Dandalonbin

Common Names in Danish:

Behennødtræ

Common Names in Dutch:

Benboom, Peperwortel Boom

Common Names in English:

Ben Oil Tree, Behen Tree, Behn Tree, Ben Tree, Ben-Oil-Tree, Benzolive Tree (Usa), Benzolive-Tree, Bridal Veil, Coatli, Drumstick, Drumstick Tree, Drumsticktree, Horse-Radish Tree, Horseradish Tree, Horseradish-Tree, Horseradishtree, Maranga, Moringa, West Indian Ben

Common Names in French:

Ben Ailé, Ben Ailée, Ben Oléifère, Moringa Ailée, Pois Quénique

Common Names in German:

Behenbaum, Behennussbaum, Meerrettichbaum

Common Names in Gujarati:

Suragavo

Common Names in Hausa:

Bagaruwar Maka (Nigeria), Bagaruwar Masar (Nigeria), Barambo, Danga, Koraukin Zaila (Nigeria), Rimin Nacara (Nigeria), Rimin Turawa (Nigeria), Samarin, Shipka Hali (Nigeria), Shuka Halinka (Nigeria), Zôgala Gandi (Niger), Zogale, Zogalla-Gandi (Nigeria)

Common Names in Hindi:

Munagaa, Muruggai, Sahijan, Sanjna, Segra, Sekta Ni Sing, Shajmah, Shajna, Shekta (As M Pterygosperma), Soanjna, Suhujna, सहुनजा, सौंजना

Common Names in Italian:

Been, Bemen

Common Names in Khmer:

Daem Mrom

Common Names in Malay:

Kalor (Indonesia), Kelor

Common Names in Malayalam:

Moringa, Muringa, Sigru

Common Names in Marathi:

Sujna

Common Names in Oriya:

Munigha, Sajina

Common Names in Portuguese:

Acácia Branca, Moringa, Muringueiro

Common Names in Russian:

Moringa Opleifera

Common Names in Sanskrit:

Shobhanjana, Sobhan Jana, Sobhanjana

Common Names in Sinhalese:

Murungà, Murunga (Bean / Pod), Murunga Kolle (Leaves)

Common Names in Somali:

Mirongo

Common Names in Spanish:

Arbol De Las Perlas, Arbol Do Los Aspáragos, Ben, Jacinto (Panama), Jasmin Francés, Jazmin Francés (Puerto Rico), Maranga, Maranga Calalu (Honduras), Marango (Costa Rica), Palo De Abejas (Dominican Republic), Palo De Aceite ( dominican Republic), Paraíso, Paraíso Blanco, Paraíso Blanco (Guatemala), Perlas (Guatemala), Resada (Puerto Rico)

Common Names in Swahili:

Mlonge (Kenya), Mlongo (Kenya), Mronge (Kenya), Mrongo (Kenya), Mzungu (Kenya), Mzunze (Kenya)

Common Names in Tagalog:

Malungai, Malunggay Talbos, Mulangai, Mulangay

Common Names in Tamil:

Morunga, Murungai

Common Names in Telugu:

Sajana

Common Names in Thai:

Ka Naeng Doeng, Ma Khon Kom, Ma Rum (Bean / Pod), Phak I Huem, Phak I Hum, Phak Ma Rum (Leaves), Phak Nuea Kai, Se Cho Ya

Common Names in Vietnamese:

Chùm Ngây

Common Names in Yoruba:

Ewé Igbale, Ewé Ilé (Nigeria), Ewe Igbale (Nigeria), Idagbo Monoye (Nigeria)

Description

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Family Moringaceae

Trees , shrubs , or herbs, deciduous, massive to slender, tuberous when young and sometimes as adults ; bark and pith with gum canals. Leaves alternate, 1-3(or 4) -imparipinnate, glabrous to puberulent ; leaflets opposite, entire, sometimes caducous ; stipules absent but stalked glands present at base of petiole and leaflets. Flowers borne in axillary panicles, bisexual , white to yellow or red, actinomorphic to zygomorphic, with or without hypanthium. Sepals 5, often reflexed at anthesis . Petals 5, equal or unequal, often reflexed. Stamens in 2 series, 5 perfect and 5 reduced to staminodes; filaments free . Pistil 1; ovary superior, borne on short gynophore , 1-loculed; placentas 3, parietal ; ovules numerous ; style 1; stigma minute. Fruit a capsule, 3-12-ribbed, sometimes with elongated beak ; valves 3, dehiscent . Seeds numerous, 3-winged or wingless, without endosperm.

One genus and ca. 13 species: NE and SW Africa, SW Asia, India, Madagascar: one species (introduced ) in China.[1]

Genus Moringa

Morphological characters and geographical distribution are the same as those for the family .[2]

Physical Description

Species Moringa oleifera

Trees to 12 m tall; bark pale smooth to rugose but not fissured . Leaves petiolate , 3-pinnate, 25-60 cm, with stalked glands often exuding clear or amber liquid at base of petiole and leaflets ; leaflets in 4-6 pairs, ovate , elliptic , or oblong , 1-2 × 0.5-1.2 cm, puberulous when young but glabrous at maturity, base rounded to cuneate, apex rounded to emarginate ; petiolules slender, 1-2 mm. Inflorescence a widely spreading panicle, bracteate , 10-30 cm; bracts linear , ca. 1 mm. Flowers white to cream, fragrant, somewhat resembling an inverted Fabaceae flower with 2 dorsal sepals and 1 dorsal petal usually remaining unreflexed and forming a projecting "keel" while the rest of the perianth reflexes down to form a "banner" at right angles to the "keel", each flower borne on a false pedicel 7-15 mm; true pedicel 1-2 mm. Sepals lanceolate to linear-lanceolate, 0.7-1.4 mm, usually puberulent . Petals spatulate , 1-2 cm, glabrous or puberulent at base. Stamens hairy at base. Ovary hairy. Capsule 3-valved, 20-50 × 1-3 cm, dehiscent . Seeds subglobose, 3-angled, 8-15 mm in diam. excluding wings ; wings 0.5-1 cm wide, rarely absent. Fl. year round , fr. Jun-Dec. [source]

A variant with wingless seeds has been collected in S Yunnan (Xishuangbanna Dai Zu Zizhizhou) : K . S. Chow & P. P. Wan 80197 (MO). [source]

Habit: Tree , Shrub

Flowers: Bloom Period: April, May. • Flower Color: near white, white

Size/Age/Growth

Size: 15-20' tall.

Habitat

Cultivated for ornament, sometimes escaping.[3].

Typically found in the intertidal zone at the water's edge at a mean distance from sea level of 101.73 meters (333.76 feet).[4]

Biome: Coastal.

Biology

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Reproduction

Duration: Perennial

Growth

Culture: Space 8-10' apart.

Soil: Minimum pH: 6.1 • Maximum pH: 7.5

Sunlight: Sun Exposure: Full Sun .

Temperature: Cold Hardiness: 10a, 10b, 11. (map)

Taxonomy

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Synonyms

Moringa moringa (L.) Millsp. • Moringa pterygosperma Gaertner.

Notes

Publishing author : Lam. Publication : Encycl. (Lamarck) 1(2): 398 1785 [1 Aug 1785]

Similar Species

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Members of the genus Moringa

ZipcodeZoo has pages for 1 species, subspecies, varieties, forms, and cultivars in this genus:

M. oleifera (Ben Oil Tree)

More Info

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Further Reading

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Notes

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Contributors

Data Sources

Accessed through GBIF Data Portal November 19, 2007:

Identifiers

Footnotes

  1. Lianli Lu & Mark Olson "Moringaceae". in Flora of China Vol. 8 Page 196. Published by Science Press (Beijing) and Missouri Botanical Garden Press. Online at EFloras.org. [back]
  2. "Moringa". in Flora of China Vol. 8 Page 196. Published by Science Press (Beijing) and Missouri Botanical Garden Press. Online at EFloras.org. [back]
  3. "Moringa oleifera". in Flora of China Vol. 8 Page 196. Missouri Botanical Garden Press. Online at EFloras.org. [back]
  4. Standard Deviation = 567.540 based on 157 observations. Terrestrial altitude and ocean depth information for each observation from British Oceanographic Data Centre. [back]
Last Revised: 2014-04-14