Trees, shrubs, or herbs, deciduous, massive to slender, tuberous when young and sometimes as adults; bark and pith with gum canals. Leaves alternate, 1-3(or 4)-imparipinnate, glabrous to puberulent; leaflets opposite, entire, sometimes caducous; stipules absent but stalked glands present at base of petiole and leaflets. Flowers borne in axillary panicles, bisexual, white to yellow or red, actinomorphic to zygomorphic, with or without hypanthium. Sepals 5, often reflexed at anthesis. Petals 5, equal or unequal, often reflexed. Stamens in 2 series, 5 perfect and 5 reduced to staminodes; filaments free. Pistil 1; ovary superior, borne on short gynophore, 1-loculed; placentas 3, parietal; ovules numerous; style 1; stigma minute. Fruit a capsule, 3-12-ribbed, sometimes with elongated beak; valves 3, dehiscent. Seeds numerous, 3-winged or wingless, without endosperm.
One genus and ca. 13 species: NE and SW Africa, SW Asia, India, Madagascar: one species (introduced) in China.
Chen Wei-qiu. 1984. Moringaceae. In: Fu Shu-hsia & Fu Kun-tsun, eds., Fl. Reipubl. Popularis Sin. 34(1): 6-8.