Moringa Adans.

This genus is accepted, and its native range is Angola to Namibia, Madagascar, Egypt to Kenya and Arabian Peninsula, Indian Subcontinent.


Moringaceae, Bernard Verdcourt. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 1986

Description as for family.


M. Thulin et al. Flora of Somalia, Vol. 1-4 [updated 2008]

Morphology General Habit
Trees, shrubs, subshrubs or perennial herbs with tuberous rootstocks, often smelling of horse-radish.
Morphology Leaves
Leaves alternate, 1–3-imparipinnate; leaflets mainly opposite, entire; stipules and stipels absent or minute but sometimes with stipitate glands at base of petioles and pinnae.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Flowers in axillary panicles, regular or somewhat irregular, bisexual.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Sepals 5, imbricate in bud.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Petals 5, imbricate.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens
Stamens 5 fertile alternating with 3–5 staminodes; filaments free or partly united; anthers dorsifixed, 1-thecous.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynostegium
Ovary superior, cylindrical, 1-celled of 3 carpels; style terminal, slender, without stigmatic lobes; ovules numerous.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Capsule elongate, 3-valved.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seeds often with 3 conspicuous wings; endosperm absent; embryo straight.
Genus of 13-14 species, the majority in NE tropical Africa, one endemic in southwestern Africa, two in Madagascar and two in India.
The species often flower before the leaves appear, but correlated leaves or fruits are often needed for reliable identification.

Several of the species are important as water purifiers (see Jahn in Symb. Bot. Ups. 28(3): 171–185, 1988, for a review of the subject and further references).

Native to:

Angola, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gulf States, India, Kenya, Lebanon-Syria, Madagascar, Namibia, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Sinai, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen

Introduced into:

Aldabra, Andaman Is., Arizona, Assam, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Benin, Burkina, California, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Caroline Is., Cayman Is., Central African Repu, Chad, Chagos Archipelago, China South-Central, China Southeast, Christmas I., Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, East Himalaya, El Salvador, Fiji, Florida, Gambia, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Honduras, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Jawa, Laccadive Is., Laos, Leeward Is., Lesser Sunda Is., Libya, Maldives, Mali, Marianas, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mozambique Channel I, Myanmar, Nepal, Netherlands Antilles, New Caledonia, Nicobar Is., Niger, Nigeria, Puerto Rico, Queensland, Rodrigues, Réunion, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Solomon Is., Southwest Caribbean, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad-Tobago, Uganda, Venezuela, Venezuelan Antilles, Vietnam, Windward Is., Zaïre

Moringa Adans. appears in other Kew resources:

First published in Fam. Pl. 2: 318 (1763)

Accepted by

  • Govaerts, R., Nic Lughadha, E., Black, N., Turner, R. & Paton, A. (2021). The World Checklist of Vascular Plants, a continuously updated resource for exploring global plant diversity. Scientific Data 8: 215.


Flora of West Tropical Africa

  • —F.T.A. 1: 101.

Flora of Somalia

  • Flora Somalia, Vol 1, (1993) Author: by M. Thulin [updated by M. Thulin 2008]

Flora of Tropical East Africa

  • Chiov. in Bull. Soc. Bot. Ital. 1917: 27 (1917)
  • Fam. Pl. 2: 318, 579 (1763)
  • Fl. Madag. Fam. 84-86: 33-40 (1982)
  • Keraudren in Webbia 19: 815 (1965)
  • Verdc. in K.B. 13: 384 (1959)
  • Verdc. in K.B. 40: 1-23 (1985)

  • Flora of Somalia

    Flora of Somalia

  • Flora of Tropical East Africa

    Flora of Tropical East Africa

  • Kew Backbone Distributions

    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2022. Published on the Internet at and
    © Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.

  • Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone

    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2022. Published on the Internet at and
    © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.

  • Kew Science Photographs

    Copyright applied to individual images