Horse Radish Tree / Morunga

Moringa oleifera



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.

    Agro Forestory :


    • 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.