Moringa oleifera


Moringa oleifera drawingOrigin

South Asia


Annual rainfall: 750-2500mm.

Normal temp range: 9-37C.

Altitude range: 0-1000m.

Seasonal adaptability: Good.

Soils: pH 5.5-7.5; can grow on soils with low fertility; best on alluvial soils.


Height at maturity: 12m.

Form: Small tree, umbrella shaped, light crown.

Coppicing ability: Good

Other: Does not fix nitrogen

Primary advantages

Has a number of food, fodder, and fuel uses; grows well on poor, dry soils.

Products and yields

Fuelwood: Has wood density of 0.32 (air dry) 4600 kcal/kg. Burns very fast.

Fodder: Leaves are used.

Food:  Young pods are eaten; dried seeds eaten like peanuts; root from seed-grown trees used as horseradish substitute.

Other: Oil from seeds is known in trade as Ben or Behen oil and used locally as an edible oil, for illumination, lubrication and cosmetics; bark and leaves are reported to be medicinal.


Seedlings, cuttings, direct sowing.

Seed treatment

None required.


Can be coppiced, lopped, pollarded, or pruned for fuelwood.

Agroforestry uses

Light crown density allows it to be interplanted with many kinds of annual crops.

To top