Moringaceae Martinov

First published in Tekhno-Bot. Slovar 404. 1820 [3 Aug 1820] (1820)nom. cons.
This family is accepted

Descriptions

George R. Proctor (2012). Flora of the Cayman Isands (Second Edition). Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Morphology General Habit
Trees with pungent roots, the bark exuding gum; leaves alternate, 3–4-pinnately compound, the divisions opposite, the ultimate leaflets entire; stipules none or reduced to glands
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Flowers perfect, irregular, in axillary panicles; sepals 5, unequal, united at base into a short, cup-like tube; petals 5, the upper two smaller
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens
Stamens 10, 5 perfect ones alternating with 5 sterile, all inserted on the edge of a disc lining the calyx-tube; filaments free; anthers 1-celled
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Ovary
Ovary superior, stalked, 1-celled with 3 parietal placentas; style tubular, open at the apex; ovules numerous
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Fruit a many-seeded elongate capsule opening by 3 valves; seeds large, 3-winged or wingless; embryo without endosperm.
Distribution
A small family of 1 genus and 10 species, indigenous to Africa, Arabia and India.
[Cayman]

Moringaceae, Hutchinson and Dalziel. Flora of West Tropical Africa 1:1. 1954

Morphology General Habit
Trees with gummy bark
Morphology Leaves
Leaves deciduous, alternate, 2–3 times pinnate, pinnae opposite; stipules none, or represented by stipitate glands at the base of the petioles and pinnae
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Flowers in axillary panicles, white or red, hermaphrodite, zygomorphic
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Calyx-tube short, with 5 unequal spreading or reflexed lobes, the fifth posticous, imbricate
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Petals 5, the two upper smaller, the lateral ones ascending, the anticous larger
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Nectaries
Disk lining the calyx-tube, with a short free margin
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium
Stamens inserted on the margin of the disk, declinate, 5 perfect, alternating with the same number of antherless stamens or reduced to setae; filaments free; anthers dorsifixed, 1-celled, opening lengthwise by a slit
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium
Ovary stipitate, terete, villous, curved, 1-celled, with 3 parietal placentas; style terminal, slender, tubular, truncate at the apex; ovules numerous, in 2 series on each placenta
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Capsule long, beaked, 3–6-angled, torulose, 1-celled, 3-valved
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seeds 3-winged or not; embryo without endosperm, straight
[FWTA]

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

Morphology General Habit
Trees, sometimes with swollen trunks, shrubs or small woody subshrubs with tuberous rootstocks (often smelling and tasting of horseradish); wood often brittle and bark sometimes resinous or gummy
Morphology Leaves
Leaves petiolate, alternate, deciduous or rachis of pinnae sometimes persistent, 1-3-imparipinnate; leaflets mainly opposite, entire; stipules and stipels absent or minute but sometimes with stipitate glands at the base of the petioles and pinnae
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Flowers regular in 3 species and nearly so in two others but somewhat irregular in the rest, hermaphrodite, white, red or yellow, often numerous in axillary panicles, the floral parts borne on a cup-like or in one species tubular receptacle
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Sepals 5, free above the receptacle, equal or unequal, imbricate in bud, the fifth posticous
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Petals 5, equal or unequal, imbricate
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium
Stamens inserted on the margin of the disk or epipetalous, declinate, 5 perfect ones alternating with 3-5 staminodes or setae; filaments free or partly united; anthers dorsifixed, 1-thecous, opening lengthwise by a slit, sometimes cohering; pollen grains trizonocolporate, with smooth exine
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium
Ovary superior, stipitate, cylindrical, 1-locular of 3 carpels and with 3 parietal placentas; style terminal, slender, tubular with open canal, truncate at the apex and without stigmatic lobes; ovules numerous in 2 series on each placenta, pendulous, anatropous
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Capsule elongate, beaked, 3-valved, 3-6-angled, sometimes torulose
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seeds unwinged or with 3 conspicuous wings, the wings hardened or membranous; embryo straight; endosperm absent
[FTEA]

M. Thulin et al. Flora of Somalia, Vol. 1-4 [updated 2008] https://plants.jstor.org/collection/FLOS

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 Perianth
Sepals 5, imbricate in bud. 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 Gynoecium Ovary
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.
Distribution
Family with a single genus native from Africa, Arabia e India.
[FSOM]

Milliken, W., Klitgard, B. and Baracat, A. (2009 onwards), Neotropikey - Interactive key and information resources for flowering plants of the Neotropics. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

Morphology General Habit
Woody, deciduous trees; rootstocks tuberous
Morphology Leaves
Leaves alternate, compound, 3- pinnate; leaflets entire in 4-6 pairs, ovate, elliptic, or oblong, glabrous at maturity; stipules glandular at base of petiole and leaflets
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescence axillary panicles, bracteate
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Flowers bisexual; sepals 5, lanceolate to linear - lanceolate, usually puberulent; petals 5, free, spatulate; stamens 5, free from and opposite corolla members, hairy at base, staminodes 5 alternating with stamens, filaments encircling disk, anthers dorsifixed, dehiscing via full-length slits; ovary superior, syncarpous, hairy, gynophore present, carpels 3, locule 1, ovules numerous, style 1, hollow, stigma minute
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Fruit a capsule, woody, 3-valved
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seeds numerous, 3-angled, wings 0.5-1 cm wide (rarely absent).
Note
Notes on delimitation: Currently placed within the Brassicales (APGIII). M. oleifera Lamark is cultivated for its many uses especially as a high vitamin leaf crop. Number of genera: One: Moringa Rheede ex Adans.(introduced).
Distribution
Arid areas, recorded in the Caribbean, parts of Central America and Mexico. No native genera.
Diagnostic
Leaflets in 4 - 6 pairs, puberulous when young and glabrous at maturity. Sepals usually puberulent. Seeds often winged. Distinguishing characters (always present): Spiral, deciduous, compound, 3-pinnate leaves. Conspicuous glands often secreting clear or amber liquid at the petiole and leaflet bases. Widely-spreading, paniculate inflorescence, 10-30cm long. Linear bracts ca. 1mm. Three-angled, capsular fruits. "Key differences from similar families: Can be distinguished from the Papilionoideae of the Leguminosae which have (9-)10(-many) stamens. The flowers of Moringa resemble 'inverted' pea flowers with 2 dorsal sepals and 1 dorsal petal usually remaining unreflexed and forming a projecting ""keel"", while the rest of the perianth reflexes down to form a ""banner"" at right angles to the ""keel"" (Lianli & Olson 2001)."
[NTK]

Sources

  • Flora of Somalia

    • Flora of Somalia
    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
  • Flora of Tropical East Africa

    • Flora of Tropical East Africa
    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
  • Flora of West Tropical Africa

    • Flora of West Tropical Africa
    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
  • Flora of the Cayman Islands

    • Flora of the Cayman Islands
    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0
  • Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone

    • The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Vascular Plants 2024. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and https://powo.science.kew.org/
    • © Copyright 2023 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Vascular Plants. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0
  • Neotropikey

    • Milliken, W., Klitgard, B. and Baracat, A. (2009 onwards), Neotropikey - Interactive key and information resources for flowering plants of the Neotropics.
    • http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0