J.Koenig ex L.
Murraya is a genus of flowering plants in the citrus family, Rutaceae. It is distributed in Asia, Australia, and the Pacific Islands. The center of diversity is in southern China and Southeast Asia. The genus name commemorates the 18th-century German-Swedish herbal doctor Johan Andreas Murray, a student of Linnaeus.
Pretty to look at but Murraya is recorded as an invasive weed by many Australian councils. It is spread by birds, self-propagates and the roots are also invasive in seach of moisture. It invades natural habitats. This weed was introduced to areas in Australia and marketed as a easy to grow hedge which, when in flower, is highly allergenic to many of the population. Sufferers experience headache, blocked sinuses and breathing difficulties, etc. It may be in the citrus family but there's nothing healthy about a fully flowering Murraya hedge on a hot summer's night.
These plants are shrubs or trees. The leaves are pinnate, divided into several leaflets, and alternately arranged on the branches. The leaves are glandular, aromatic, and leathery to membranous in texture. The leaflets vary in shape and have smooth or toothed edges. The inflorescence is a panicle, cyme, or small raceme of flowers growing at the ends of branches or in the leaf axils; some flowers are solitary. The fragrant flowers have 4 or 5 sepals and white petals and up to 10 straight stamens. The fruit is a fleshy berry with pulp but without the juice vesicles present in some related fruits. It is up to 1.3 centimeters long and orange, red, or black.
Murraya species are used in landscaping. Some species can be grafted onto citrus rootstocks. Species have been used in traditional medicine, with various parts of the plants used to treat fever, pain, and dysentery. M. paniculata has been used to induce labor. It has been used in Cuba for painful inflammatory conditions.
Curry tree (M. koenigii) in particular has a number of uses. It is cultivated in India and Sri Lanka. The aromatic foliage, powdered leaves, and essential oil are used in Sri Lankan Cuisine and Indian cuisine as a flavoring for curries and meat, fish, and egg dishes. The oil is used in aromatherapy and added to soaps, hair tonics, and medicinal remedies.
Compounds isolated from Murraya include many types of coumarins and alkaloids. The novel alkaloid yuehchukene was found in M. paniculata, and it has since been isolated from other Murraya. It is found in red-fruited species with larger petals, but not in black-fruited species with smaller petals. Some species also contain the carbazole girinimbine.
M. koenigii has yielded a vast array of compounds, including carbazoles and carotenoids. The leaves alone have been found to contain such compounds as koenimbine, koenigine, koenine, koenidine, koenimbidine, murrayacine, murrayanine, murrayazoline, and murrayazolidine. The stems, roots, seeds, and fruit also contain many unique compounds. Coumarins, lipids, and the essential oil have also been analyzed. Many of the compounds have had different types of biological activities in lab tests.
- Murraya alata Drake
- Murraya crenulata
- Murraya euchrestifolia
- Murraya koenigii (L.) Sprengel (syn. Bergera koenigii) – curry tree, curry leaf, kari patta
- Murraya kwangsiensis
- Murraya microphylla – small-leaved murraya
- Murraya ovatifoliolata (Engl.) Domin
- Murraya paniculata (L.) Jack (syn. M. exotica) – orange jessamine, Hawaiian mock orange, barktree, cosmetic-bark-tree, Chinese box, Burmese-boxwood
- Murraya stenocarpa (Drake) Swingle
- Murraya tetramera
- Murraya. Flora of China.
- But, P. P., et al. (1986). A chemotaxonomic study of Murraya (Rutaceae) in China. Acta Phytotax. Sin 24(3), 186-92.
- Missouri Botanical Garden
- Swingle, W. T., rev. P. C. Reece. Chapter 3: The Botany of Citrus and its Wild Relatives. In: The Citrus Industry vol. 1. Webber, H. J. (ed.). Berkeley: University of California Press. 1967.
- Citrus Variety Collection. College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences. University of California, Riverside.
- Murraya. FloraBase. Western Australian Herbarium.
- Casado Martín, C. M., et al. (2011). Acercamiento al género Murraya (Rutaceae) ya la especie Murraya paniculata (L.) Jack. Revista Cubana de Plantas Medicinales 16(4), 408-18. (Spanish)
- Jain, V., et al. (2012). Murraya koenigii: An updated review. International Journal of Ayurvedic and Herbal Medicine 2(4), 607-27.
- Noolu, B., et al. (2013). Murraya koenigii leaf extract inhibits proteasome activity and induces cell death in breast cancer cells. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 13(7).
- Murraya exotica. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN).