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Moringa oleifera

(Ben Oil Tree)


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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 Amharic:


Common Names in Arabic:

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

Common Names in Bambara:


Common Names in Bengali:

Saajanaa (Sajna)

Common Names in Burmese:

Dan Da Lun, Dandalonbin, ဒန့်သလွန်

Common Names in Catalan, Valencian:


Common Names in Chichewa, Chewa, Nyanja:


Common Names in Czech:

Moringa olejodárná

Common Names in Danish:


Common Names in Divehi, Dhivehi, Maldivian:

މުރަނގަ ތޮޅި

Common Names in Dutch:

Benboom, Peperwortel Boom

Common Names in English:

Ben Oil Tree, Behen Tree, Behn Tree, Ben nut, 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:


Common Names in Haitian, Haitian Creole:


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 Hebrew (modern):

מורינגה מכונפת

Common Names in Hindi:

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

Common Names in Indonesian:


Common Names in Italian:

Been, Bemen

Common Names in Javanese:


Common Names in Khmer:

Daem Mrom

Common Names in Lithuanian:

Aliejinė moringa

Common Names in Malay:

Kalor (Indonesia), Kelor

Common Names in Malayalam:

Moringa, Muringa, Sigru

Common Names in Marathi:


Common Names in Marathi (Marāṭhī):


Common Names in Oriya:

Munigha, Sajina, ସଜନା

Common Names in Polish:

Moringa olejodajna

Common Names in Portuguese:

Acácia Branca, Acácia branca, Moringa, Muringueiro

Common Names in Russian:

Moringa Opleifera, Моринга масличная

Common Names in Sanskrit:

Shobhanjana, Sobhan Jana, Sobhanjana

Common Names in Sanskrit (Saṁskṛta):


Common Names in Sinhalese:

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

Common Names in Somali:


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, Malunggay Talbos, Mulangai, Mulangay

Common Names in Tamil:

Morunga, Murungai, முருங்கை

Common Names in Telugu:

Sajana, మునగ

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, มะรุม

Common Names in Vietnamese:

Chùm Ngây, Chùm ngây

Common Names in Yoruba:

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


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Genus Moringa

Morphological characters and geographical distribution are the same as those for the family .[1]

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: 15-20' tall.


Cultivated for ornament, sometimes escaping.[2].

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).[3]

Biome: Coastal.


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Duration: Perennial


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)


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


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 2 species, subspecies, varieties, forms, and cultivars in this genus:

M. hildebrandtii (Hildebrandt S Moringa) · M. oleifera (Ben Oil Tree)

More Info

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Further Reading

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Data Sources

Accessed through GBIF Data Portal November 19, 2007:



  1. "Moringa". in Flora of China Vol. 8 Page 196. Published by Science Press (Beijing) and Missouri Botanical Garden Press. Online at [back]
  2. "Moringa oleifera". in Flora of China Vol. 8 Page 196. Missouri Botanical Garden Press. Online at [back]
  3. 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: 2015-01-30