1. Moringa Adanson, Fam. Pl. 2: 318, 579. 1763.
[Tamil murungai, twisted pod, alluding to young fruit] [Tamil murungai, twisted pod, alluding to young fruit]
Trees or shrubs, [massive pachycauls, baobab-like with water-storing trunk], slender-trunked. Leaves: stipules with nectaries at growing tip; rachis articulation with stalked glands; [1-pinnate](2-)3-4(-5)-pinnate; leaflet blade membranous [subcoriaceous], [lanceolate, oblanceolate, linear] round or oval, venation sometimes conspicuous abaxially, apex glandular, surfaces [pubescent] puberulent or glabrous. Flowers: parts usually with hairs forming a barrier distal to the nectariferous hypanthium; 1 sporangium initiated in anther ontogeny. Capsules 2-valved, often constricted between seeds. Seeds 2-3 cm, winged [not winged], sometimes with spongy seed coat, shed by gravity. x = 11.
Species 13 (1 in the flora): introduced; Asia (Bangladesh, India, Oman, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen), sw, ne Africa, Indian Ocean Islands (Madagascar); introduced also pantropically.
Little is known about breeding systems in Moringa; M. longituba Engler appears incapable of self-pollination, and flowers with sterile anthers have been reported in M. concanensis Nimmo ex Dalzell & Gibson. All species are used medicinally locally; M. stenopetala (Baker f.) Cufodontis is used as a leaf vegetable in northwestern Kenya and southwestern Ethiopia.