The Horseradish Tree, Moringa pterygosperma (Moringaceae)— A boon to Arid Lands?

The Horseradish Tree, Moringa pterygosperma (Moringaceae)— A boon to Arid Lands?


The horseradish tree (Moringa pterygosperma) is being introduced into drought-ridden lands t o augment the local food and fodder supply.This study evaluates the reforestation potential of Moringa in India and Africa. 

Conclusions & Takeaways

Moringa grows from seeds or cuttings, and seeds should be planted 2 cm deep and watered 2x daily. Plants sprout in 1-2 weeks, with a total viability of 28-80%. Plants can grow 1-3 meters in the first few months, but growth from seed can be quite variable, so authors recommend reproduction from cuttings. Fruiting can begin after 3 years, and mulching and fertilizing can triple fruit production. Worldwide, Moringa is used for food (fruit, flowers and leaves), medicine (all parts of the plant) and water purification (seeds). The author concludes calling into question research to Moringa's lesser known relatives, potential hybridization experiments, alternative uses, educational program concerning root toxicity, and investigation into the long-term effects of consuing Moringa.




Morton JF. The horseradish tree,Moringa pterygosperma (Moringaceae)—A boon to Arid Lands?. Economic Botany. 1991;45:318–333. doi:10.1007/bf02887070.


  • Morton Collectanea, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL, USA