Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

  [   PIER species lists  ]   [   PIER home  ]

Moringa oleifera
Lam., Moringaceae
Click on an image for links to BIGGER PICTURES


Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Risk assessment results:  Low risk (based on second screen), score: 1 (Go to the risk assessment)

Other Latin names:  Moringa pterygospera C. F. Gaertn.

Common name(s): [more details]

Chamorro: katdes, malungay, marunggai

Chinese: la mu

English: ben-oil-tree, benzolive-tree, drumstick tree, horseradish tree, moringa, West Indian ben

Filipino: malungai, marungai

French: ben ailée, moringa ailée, mouroungue, néverdié, pois quénique

Hindi: saijan, seijan

Palauan: malungkai

Sanskrit: sajina

Spanish: maranga, paraíso, paraíso blanco

Tagalog: marronggai

Habit:  tree

Description:  "Trees to 12 m tall; bark pale smooth to rugose but not fissured. Leaves petiolate, 3-pinnate, 25-60 cm, with stalked glands often exuding clear or amber liquid at base of petiole and leaflets; leaflets in 4-6 pairs, ovate, elliptic, or oblong, 1-2 x 0.5-1.2 cm, puberulous when young but glabrous at maturity, base rounded to cuneate, apex rounded to emarginate; petiolules slender, 1-2 mm. Inflorescence a widely spreading panicle, bracteate, 10-30 cm; bracts linear, ca. 1 mm. Flowers white to cream, fragrant, somewhat resembling an inverted Fabaceae flower 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", each flower borne on a false pedicel 7-15 mm; true pedicel 1-2 mm. Sepals lanceolate to linear-lanceolate, 0.7-1.4 mm, usually puberulent. Petals spatulate, 1-2 cm, glabrous or puberulent at base. Stamens hairy at base. Ovary hairy. Capsule 3-valved, 20-50 x 1-3 cm, dehiscent. Seeds subglobose, 3-angled, 8-15 mm in diam. excluding wings; wings 0.5-1 cm wide, rarely absent"  (Flora of China online).

"A smallish soft-wooded tree with corky bark, pungent roots, bi-tripinnate leaves up to 50 cm long with obovate leaflets about 1-1.5 cm long, somewhat grayish-green; inflorescences axillary, shorter than the leaves, paniculate; flowers white, about 1.5-2 cm long, somewhat zygomorphic; fruit pendent, elongate, 3-angled, up to 30 cm long, 9-ribbed, opening by 3 valves; seeds 3-angled, winged at the angles, many" (Stone, 1970; p. 289).

Habitat/ecology:  Dryer areas from sea level to 250 m.

Propagation:  Seed

Native range:  India; also cultivated (GRIN).

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (US)
Northern Mariana Islands
Rota Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 86)
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (US)
Northern Mariana Islands
Saipan Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 86)
Cook Islands
Southern Cook Islands
Rarotonga Island cultivated
Sykes, Bill (year unknown)
Federated States of Micronesia
Chuuk Islands
Namoluk (Nómwunuuk) Atoll introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 86)
Federated States of Micronesia
Chuuk Islands
Weno (Moen) Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Waterhouse, Barbara/Denslow, Julie S./Nelson, Duane/Mazawa, Thomas R. (2000) (p. 28)
Federated States of Micronesia
Kosrae Island
Kosrae Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Waterhouse, Barbara/Denslow, Julie S./Nelson, Duane/Waguk, Erick E. (2000) (p. 28)
Federated States of Micronesia
Kosrae Island
Kosrae Island introduced
cultivated
Lorence, David H./Flynn, Timothy (2010) (p. 20)
Federated States of Micronesia
Pohnpei Islands
Pohnpei Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 86)
Federated States of Micronesia
Pohnpei Islands
Pohnpei Island introduced
cultivated
Herrera, Katherine/Lorence, David H./Flynn, Timothy/Balick, Michael J. (2010) (p. 115)
Federated States of Micronesia
Yap Islands
Yap (Waqab) Island   Wagner, W. L./ Herbst, D. R./Weitzman, A./Lorence, D.H. (2013)
Fiji
Fiji Islands
Viti Levu Island introduced
cultivated
Smith, Albert C. (1981) (pp. 712-713)
Vouchers cited: DA 17323, DA 957
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Raiatea (Havai) Island introduced
cultivated
Welsh, S. L. (1998) (p. 189)
Voucher cited: Moore 744
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Raiatea (Havai) Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Voucher cited: J. Florence & P. Birnbaum 9948 (PAP)
Cultivée
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island introduced
cultivated
Welsh, S. L. (1998) (p. 189)
Voucher cited: Florence 7206
French Polynesia
Society Islands
Tahiti Island introduced
cultivated
Florence, J./Chevillotte, H./Ollier, C./Meyer, J.-Y. (2013)
Voucher cited: J. Florence (legit M. Guérin) 7206 (PAP)
Planté, rare à Tahiti.
Guam
Guam Island
Guam Island introduced
cultivated
Stone, Benjamin C. (1970) (p. 289)
Voucher cited: Stone 3843 (GUAM)
Guam
Guam Island
Guam Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 86)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Hawaiian Islands introduced
cultivated
Staples, George W./Herbst, Derral/Imada, Clyde T. (2000) (p. 25)
Marshall Islands
Ralik Chain
Kili (Kõle) Atoll introduced
cultivated
Vander Velde, Nancy/Vander Velde, Brian (2006) (p. 10)
"Uncommon; planted food crop around Bikini Projects camp, another fallen tree observed near ocean, windward side of island".
Marshall Islands
Ralik Chain
Kwajalein (Kuwajleen) Atoll introduced
cultivated
Whistler, W. A./Steele, O. (1999) (p. 101)
Marshall Islands
Ratak Chain
Majuro (Mãjro) Atoll introduced
cultivated
Vander Velde, Nancy (2003) (p. 110)
Marshall Islands
Ratak Chain
Maloelap Atoll   Imada, Clyde (2006)
Nauru
Nauru Island
Nauru Island introduced
cultivated
Thaman, R. R./Fosberg, F. R./Manner, H. I./Hassall, D. C. (1994) (p. 173)
Niue
Niue
Niue Island introduced
cultivated
Sykes, W. R. (1970) (p. 128)
In cultivation? Voucher cited: CHR 150507
Niue
Niue
Niue Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2000) (p. 7)
Niue
Niue
Niue Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Waterhouse, Barbara M./Newfield, Melanie/Bull, Cate (2004) (p. 13)
Palau
Kayangel Atoll
Kayangel Islet introduced
invasive
cultivated
Miles, Joel (2015) (p. 2)
ref states "Cultivated"
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Babeldaob Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Waterhouse, Barbara/Miles, Joel E./Tiobech, Joseph/Rengulbai, Kashgar (2003) (p. 102)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Kayangel (Ngcheangel) Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Lorence, David H./LaRosa, Anne Marie (2009) (p. 8)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Koror (Oreor) Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Oliver, Royce (1979) (p. 86)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Koror (Oreor) Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Waterhouse, Barbara/Miles, Joel E./Tiobech, Joseph/Rengulbai, Kashgar (2003) (p. 98)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Koror (Oreor) Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Lorence, David H./LaRosa, Anne Marie (2009) (p. 64)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Koror (Oreor) Island   Beleu National Museum (Republic of Palau. Koror.) (1981) (voucher ID: BNM 3119)
Taxon name on voucher: Moringa oleifera Lam.
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Koror (Oreor) Island   Beleu National Museum (Republic of Palau. Koror.) (1966) (voucher ID: BNM 545)
Taxon name on voucher: Moringa oleifera Lam.
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Malakal (Ngemelachel) Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Waterhouse, Barbara/Miles, Joel E./Tiobech, Joseph/Rengulbai, Kashgar (2003) (p. 98)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Malakal (Ngemelachel) Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Lorence, David H./LaRosa, Anne Marie (2009) (p. 64)
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Ngercheu Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Lorence, David H./LaRosa, Anne Marie (2009) (p. 64)
Carp Resort
Palau
Palau (Belau ) (main island group)
Peleliu (Beliliou) Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Waterhouse, Barbara/Miles, Joel E./Tiobech, Joseph/Rengulbai, Kashgar (2003) (p. 106)
Philippines
Philippine Islands
Philippine Islands introduced
cultivated
abo. intro.
Merrill, Elmer D. (1923) (pp. 213-214)
Planted throughout the settled areas at low and medium altitudes. Introduced in the prehistoric period.
Samoa
Western Samoa Islands
Savai‘i Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2002) (p. Field notes.)
Samoa
Western Samoa Islands
Upolu Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2002) (p. Field notes.)
Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands introduced
invasive
Hancock, I. R./Henderson, C. P. (1988) (p. 92)
Tonga
Tongatapu Group
Tongatapu Island introduced
cultivated
Space, James C./Flynn, Tim (2001) (p. 54)
United States (other Pacific offshore islands)
Midway Atoll
Sand Island introduced
cultivated
Starr, Forest/Starr, Kim/Loope, Lloyd (2008) (pp. B-10)
Pacific Rim
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
China
China
China (People's Republic of) introduced
invasive
cultivated
Zhengyi, Wu/Raven, Peter H./Deyuan, Hong (2013)
Cultivated for ornament and food, sometimes escaping.
Singapore
Singapore
Singapore (Republic of) introduced
cultivated
Chong, Kwek Yan/Tan, Hugh T. W./Corlett, Richard T. (2009) (p. 62)
Cultivated only
Indian Ocean
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Australia (Indian Ocean offshore islands)
Christmas Island Group
Christmas Island introduced
cultivated
Swarbrick, J. T. (1997) (p. 120)
Garden escape.
British Indian Ocean Territory
Chagos Archipelago
Diego Garcia Island introduced
invasive
cultivated
Rivers, Julie (2004) (pp. 4, 8)
Maldives
Maldive Islands
Maldive Islands   Fosberg, F. R. (1957) (p. 19)
"Common in all the group".
Maldives
Maldive Islands
Malè Atoll   Fosberg, F. R. (1957) (p. 19)
"One tree in coconut plantation". Voucher cited: Fosberg 36885 (US)
Seychelles
Seychelles Islands
Agalega Island introduced
Fosberg, F. R./Sachet, Marie-Hélène/Stoddart, D. R. (1983) (p. 128)
Seychelles
Seychelles Islands
Alphonse Island   Robertson, I. A. D./Robertson, S. A./Fosberg, F. R. (1983) (p. 182)
Voucher cited: Robertson 2888 (K)
Seychelles
Seychelles Islands
Coetivy Island   Robertson, S. A./Fosberg, F. R. (1983) (p. 151)
Seychelles
Seychelles Islands
Cousin Island introduced
cultivated
Fosberg, F. R. (1983) (p. 25)
Voucher cited: Fosberg 52131 (US)
Seychelles
Seychelles Islands
D'Arros Island   Stoddart, D. R./Coe, M. J./Fosberg, F. R. (1979) (p. 22)
Voucher cited: Stoddart 7224 (US)
Seychelles
Seychelles Islands
Frégate Island   Robertson, S. A./Todd, D. M. (1983) (p. 55)
Seychelles
Seychelles Islands
Marie-Louise Island   Wilson, J. R. (1983) (p. 193)
Seychelles
Seychelles Islands
Poivre Island   Robertson, S. A./Fosberg, F. R. (1983) (p. 172)
Seychelles
Seychelles Islands
St. Joseph Island   Stoddart, D. R./Coe, M. J./Fosberg, F. R. (1979) (p. 45)
Voucher cited: Stoddart 7174 (US)

Comments:  Some naturalization noted on Guam. This tree bears watching as a potential invasive as it is reported to naturalize.


Need more info? Have questions? Comments? Information to contribute? Contact PIER! (pier@hear.org)

  [   PIER species lists  ]   [   PIER home  ]

This page was created on 1 JAN 1999 and was last updated on 15 AUG 2013.