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Moringa ovalifolia.jpg
M. ovalifolia in Namibia
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Brassicales
Family: Moringaceae
Genus: Moringa
Type species
Moringa oleifera

See text


Donaldsonia Baker f.
Hyperanthera Forssk.[1]

Moringa is the sole genus in the plant family Moringaceae. It contains 13 species from tropical and subtropical regions of Africa and Asia that range in size from tiny herbs to massive trees. Moringa species grow quickly in many types of environments.

The genus name is derived from murungai, the Tamil word for drumstick,[citation needed] and in India the plant[which?] is commonly referred to as the drumstick tree.[4]

The most widely cultivated species is Moringa oleifera, native to the foothill of the Himalayas in northwestern India,[5] a multipurpose tree cultivated throughout the tropics and marketed as a dietary supplement, health food or source for herbalism practices.[6] The fruit pods of Moringa oleifera ("drumsticks") are increasingly consumed as food in many parts of the world, but particularly in South Asia.[7] The leaves are commonly used to make tea. Oils are made from the seeds, while powders can be made from the leaves and roots.

M. stenopetala, an African species, is also widely grown, but to a much lesser extent than M. oleifera.


Moringa is considered one of the most widely diverse genera for its size ranging from small shrubs (M. pygmaea) to large pachycaul trees (M. ovalifolia).[8]

Growth habit[edit]

Moringa contains a wide range of growth habits that may be subdivided into the following categories:


Leaves are typically pinnately compound with entire margins.


Flowers may be either bilaterally or radially symmetric.[8] Bottle trees typically produce small, radially symmetric flowers, while other members of the genus produce radially symmetric flowers. Most flowers range in color from white to cream to brown with the notable exception of M. longituba which produces bright red flowers.


Fruits are typically elongate, slender, 3-valved "pods" resembling an indehiscent silique (in contrast with a true dehiscent silique).[9] Fruits of M. oleifera (drumstick), are a major agricultural product of India, eaten as a vegetable and used for traditional medicine.[9]


Moringa contain a number of sulfurous biochemical compounds called "mustard-oil glycosides" or glucosinolates commonly found in cruciferous vegetables of Brassicaceae. Benzyl glucosinolate along with family-specific glucomoringin and glucosoonjnain have been detected from various Moringa species and are thought to be the cause of the bitter taste in some Moringa leaves.[10][11]


Higher-level classification[edit]

The monotypic family, Moringaceae, containing genus Moringa has been placed in the order Brassicales according to most modern taxonomic systems, including the APG IV system.[12] Molecular data has suggested a close relationship between Moringaceae and Caricaceae with many identifying a "Caricaceae-Moringaceae" clade within Brassicales.[12][13] Prior to the availability of molecular data, morphological classification of Moringaceae placed the family in either Brassicales or Sapindales due to the unusual morphological diversity of the family.[14]

Classification within the genus[edit]

Moringa contains three widely recognized clades—Donaldsonia, Moringa, and Dysmoringa.[15] Donaldsonia, once thought to be a subgenus of Moringa, is a non-monophyletic clade identifiable by radially symmetric flowers and containing the bottle trees M. drouhardii, M. hildebrandtii, M. ovalifolia, and M. stenopetala.[8] The Moringa clade contains all other members of genus Moringa (except M. longituba) characterized by irregular floral symmetry, perigynous flowers, and short receptacles.[15] The Dysmoringa clade contains the species M. longituba which diverges from common Moringa clade characteristics due to its long receptacle and red flowers.[8] The exact phylogenetic relationship between members of Moringa continues to evolve with growing molecular data, though the Donaldsonia clade is consistently identified as the basalmost clade within the family.[8]

List of species[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Genus: Moringa Adans". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. 1996-09-17. Archived from the original on 2015-09-24. Retrieved 2011-09-26.
  2. ^ Angiosperm Phylogeny Group (2009). "An update of the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group classification for the orders and families of flowering plants: APG III" (PDF). Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society. 161 (2): 105–121. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8339.2009.00996.x. Retrieved 2013-07-06.
  3. ^ "Moringa Adans". TROPICOS. Missouri Botanical Garden. Retrieved 2009-12-30.
  4. ^ Singh, Maavi. "My Mom Cooked Moringa Before It Was A Superfood". NPR. Retrieved 2019-02-14.
  5. ^ Olson, Mark (2010). "Moringaceae Martinov. Drumstick Tree Family" (PDF). Flora of North America. 1993+. Flora of North America North of Mexico. 7: 167–169.
  6. ^ Janick, Jules; Robert E. Paull (2008). The Encyclopedia of Fruit & Nuts. CABI. pp. 509–510. ISBN 978-0-85199-638-7.
  7. ^ Somoza, Veronika; Pirkwieser, Philip; Grosshagauer, Silke; Kraemer, Klaus (2021). "The Future of Moringa Foods: A Food Chemistry Perspective". Frontiers in Nutrition. 8: 844. doi:10.3389/fnut.2021.751076. ISSN 2296-861X. PMC 8594418. PMID 34796194.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i Olson, Mark E. (2002). "Combining Data from DNA Sequences and Morphology for a Phylogeny of Moringaceae (Brassicales)". Systematic Botany. 27 (1): 55–73. ISSN 0363-6445. JSTOR 3093895.
  9. ^ a b Ramachandran, C.; Peter, K. V.; Gopalakrishnan, P. K. (1980-07-01). "Drumstick (Moringa oleifera): A multipurpose Indian vegetable". Economic Botany. 34 (3): 276–283. doi:10.1007/bf02858648. ISSN 0013-0001. S2CID 40029228.
  10. ^ Mithen, Richard; Bennett, Richard; Marquez, Julietta (2010-12-01). "Glucosinolate biochemical diversity and innovation in the Brassicales". Phytochemistry. 71 (17–18): 2074–2086. doi:10.1016/j.phytochem.2010.09.017. ISSN 0031-9422. PMID 20971483.
  11. ^ Ojeda-López, José; Marczuk-Rojas, Juan Pablo; Polushkina, Oliver Aleksandrei; Purucker, Darius; Salinas, María; Carretero-Paulet, Lorenzo (2020-10-19). "Evolutionary analysis of the Moringa oleifera genome reveals a recent burst of plastid to nucleus gene duplications". Scientific Reports. 10 (1): 17646. Bibcode:2020NatSR..1017646O. doi:10.1038/s41598-020-73937-w. ISSN 2045-2322. PMC 7573628. PMID 33077763.
  12. ^ a b F., Chase, M. W. Christenhusz, M. J. M. Fay, M. F. Byng, J. W. Judd, W. S. Soltis, D. E. Mabberley, D. J. Sennikov, A. N. Soltis, P. S. Stevens, P. An update of the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group classification for the orders and families of flowering plants: APG IV. OCLC 1016892300. Retrieved 2021-12-28.
  13. ^ Olson, Mark E. (2002-01-01). "Intergeneric Relationships within the Caricaceae‐Moringaceae Clade (Brassicales) and Potential Morphological Synapomorphies of the Clade and Its Families". International Journal of Plant Sciences. 163 (1): 51–65. doi:10.1086/324046. ISSN 1058-5893. S2CID 53397918. Retrieved 2021-12-28.
  14. ^ RONSE DECRAENE, L (1998-09-01). "Floral Development and Anatomy ofMoringa oleifera(Moringaceae): What is the Evidence for a Capparalean or Sapindalean Affinity?". Annals of Botany. 82 (3): 273–284. doi:10.1006/anbo.1998.0677. ISSN 0305-7364. Retrieved 2021-12-28.
  15. ^ a b Verdcourt, B. (1985). "A Synopsis of the Moringaceae". Kew Bulletin. 40 (1): 1–ix. doi:10.2307/4108470. ISSN 0075-5974. JSTOR 4108470.
  16. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Leone A, Spada A, Battezzati A, Schiraldi A, Aristil J, Bertoli S (2015). "Cultivation, Genetic, Ethnopharmacology, Phytochemistry and Pharmacology of Moringa oleifera Leaves: An Overview". International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 16 (6): 12791–12835. doi:10.3390/ijms160612791. PMC 4490473. PMID 26057747.
  17. ^ Dadamouny, M.A. (2009). (2009). Population Ecology of Moringa peregrina growing in Southern Sinai, Egypt (M.Sc.). doi:10.13140/RG.2.1.5091.9760. Retrieved 2009-12-26.
  18. ^ Dadamouny, Mohamed A.; Unterseher, Martin; König, Peter; Schnittler, Martin (December 2016). "Population performance of Moringa peregrina (Forssk.) Fiori (Moringaceae) at Sinai Peninsula, Egypt in the last decades: Consequences for its conservation". Journal for Nature Conservation. 34: 65–74. doi:10.1016/j.jnc.2016.08.005.
  19. ^ "Subordinate Taxa of Moringa Adans". TROPICOS. Missouri Botanical Garden. Retrieved 2009-12-30.
  20. ^ Dadamouny, Mohamed A.; Zaghloul, Mohamed S.; Ashraf, Salman (2012). "Impact of Improved Soil Properties on Establishment of Moringa peregrina seedlings and trial to decrease its Mortality Rate". Egyptian Journal of Botany. Retrieved 2012-07-03.

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