Moringa, Miracle Fruit or Drumstick
Moringa oleifera syn pterygosperma
This plant is not on the Australian Noxious Weed List
A native of the southern foothills of the Himalayan mountains in northwestern India where it prefers a tropical to subtropical climate in dry sandy, well-draining soils. It will tolerate poor soils and coastal plantings but will not tolerate frost.
A very fast-growing, deciduous tree that grows to a height of 10 metres (32 ft). The stem is slender with corky bark; the leaves are mid-green, tripinnate, 50cm long with oval leaflets; the flowers are whitish with four reflexed (curved backwards) and one erect petal, fragrant; the fruit are capsules 30 cm long containing nine large triangular seeds.
This tree is cultivated widely as a food, folk medicine and fodder source in Africa, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Mexico and Central and South America.
All parts of the tree are edible: immature pods (Drumsticks) in soups; the leaves, the most nutritious part of the plant, as a salad vegetable, substitute for cooked spinach or dried and powdered, added to soups and other dishes; mature seeds are eaten like peas, roasted like nuts or crushed to extract the oil called Ben Oil (after Behenic Acid) which has potential as a biofuel; the roots are shredded and used as a condiment tasting like horseradish; the flowers are cleansed, boiled and added to soups, curries, stir-fry, salads and omelettes.
Several countries use Moringa medicinally. In India and the Philippines, it is used in Siddha and Ayurvedic medicines while in Africa and Indonesia the leaves are given to nursing mothers in the belief that they increase lactation.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture states that analysis of the nutrient value of 100 gm (3.5 oz) of leaves as: energy 270 kj, carbohydrates 8.28 gm, dietary fibre 2 gm, fat 1.4 gm, Protein 9.4 gm, water 78.66 gm, vitamin A 379 ug, vitamin B1 0.257 mg, vitamin B2 0.66 mg, vitamin B3 2.22 mg, vitamin B5 0.125 mg, vitamin B6 1.2 mg, vitamin B9 40 ug, vitamin C 51.7 mg, Calcium 185 mg, iron 4 mg, magnesium 147 mg, manganese 0.36 mg, phosphorus 112 mg, potassium 337 mg, sodium 9 mg and zinc 0.6 mg.
Offered is a packet of 5 seeds with propagation notes.
All seed is posted in bubble wrap protection.
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