Horse Radish Tree / Morunga/ Moringa Oleifera

By Tamilnadu Treepedia on 20 Aug 2018 | read

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General Information :

Short, slender, deciduous, perennial tree, to about 10 m tall;

  • Slender drooping branches;
  • Stems are brittle with corky bark.
  • Flowers are creamy white in color.
  • pods are long greenish in color with numerous seeds.

Distribution :

It is indigenous to sub – Himalayan tract , but commonly cultivated I India, in hedges and home yards.

Habitat : Deciduous forest

Soil : Sandy loam , loam, and moist soils except clay.

Soil pH : 5.5 and 7.5

Altitude :Up to 1200 m (MSL)

Rainfall :750 to 2250 mm

Temperature : 24 - 48°c

Terrain : Plains/ Gentle slopes

Tree Characteristics :

  • Strong light demander and susceptible to drought.

Habit : Deciduous Tree

Planting Guidelines

Natural Regeneration :

Naturally reproduce through seeds and coppice.

 Artificial Regeneration :

It can be raised by direct sowing, stump cutting and nursery raised seedlings.

Seed collection and Storage :

Pods are collected in May – June.

  • Collected pods are dried in sun, thrashed  to separate clean seed.
  • The seeds are stored in air tight container.
  • Seeds does not store well.
  • Seed rate 8000 to 9000/ Kg.
  • Germinative capacity 60-70%.

Seed Treatment :

Cold water treatment for 12 hours.

Nursery Technique :

Seeds are sown in June in sunken bed.

  • Seed rate is about 30-35 gm/m2 of bed area.
  • Nursery beds are irrigated regularly.
  • Germination starts in about 8-10 days.
  • Seedlings are regularly weeds and spaced 10 cm apart in lines.
  • These are fit for planting out and also for making stumps after one year.

Plantation technique :

Planting out is carried out during July in 30 cm3 pits,

  • Under dry conditions, pit size of 60 cm3 with an interval 5 to 10 m Planting should be carried out after the commencement of monsoon

Care & Disease Control :

Regular weeding and soil working should be taken care.

Agroforestry :


Planted as a hedge in courtyards, M. oleifera provides wind protection, shade and support for climbing garden plants.

Major uses :

The bark is laxative and also stimulates the appetite.

  • The juice from the bitter stem bark or root is used in decoction as a laxative against colic and as a febrifuge.
  • The bark and the leaves are pounded and applied as a poultice against rheumatism.
  • The leaves are heated and applied to treat earache.
  • The flower is considered to be astringent and cholagogue.
  • The pickled flowers are stomachic.
  • The dried fruit is used medicinally.