Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Moringa oleifera Lam., Encycl. Meth. Bot. 1: 398. 1785. M. pterygosperma Gaertner., Fruct. 2: 314. 1791; Hook.f., Fl. Brit. India 2: 45. 1876.

Asm.: Sajina; Beng.: Schajna; Eng.: Horse Radish tree; Hindi: Sohajna; Mar.: Sheuga Tam.: Moringa; Tel.: Munga.

Large trees; branches pubescent. Leaves usually tripinnate; leaflets 3 - 11, sparsely tomentose above, glabrous beneath, up to 2.4 x 1.8 cm; terminal larger than the laterals, obovate, oblique sided at base, rounded at tip, laterals elliptic. Flowers ca 2.5 cm across. Calyx tube hairy; lobes petaloid, linear-lanceolate, reflexed. Petals white, the anterior erect, others reflexed. Stamens 5; filaments villous at base. Ovary oblong; style cylindric. Fruits up to 45 cm long, 9-ribbed when young, 3-angled on maturity. Seeds winged.

Fl. & Fr. : Feb. - June.

Distrib. India: Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Sikkim, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Andaman Islands.

Bangladesh, Myanmar, Vietnam, Philippines and Pakistan.

Uses. The leaves, flowers and young fruits are cooked as vegetables. Gum is also obtained. Seeds yield Ben Oil, used as lubricant and in perfume industry.


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