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Moringa life forms: bottle trees, slender trees, and tuberous herbs and shrubs

Bottle tree Moringas

bottle treeThe following Moringa species are characterized by a massive, swollen, water-storing trunk and radially symmetrical (or nearly so) flowers. All of these species also have similar patterns of germination and ground tissue proliferation.

Moringa drouhardii (Madagascar)
Moringa hildebrandtii (Madagascar)
Moringa ovalifolia (Namibia and Angola)
Moringa stenopetala (Kenya and Ethiopia)

They were placed by Verdcourt together in a section of the genus called Donaldsondia in 1985.

Slender trees Moringas

slender treeThe following species of Moringa have an underground tuber when small, but turn into slender trees with age. All three of these species are have bilaterally symmetrical flowers:

Moringa concanensis (Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh)
Moringa oleifera (India)
Moringa peregrina (Israel to Somalia and southern Arabian Peninsula)

Northeast Africa

northeast Africa moringaThe eight Moringaspecies found in northeast Africa span the whole range of life form variation found in Moringa. All but M. peregrina are endemic to northeast Africa, that is, found nowhere else on earth:

Bottle tree
Moringa stenopetala

Slender tree
Moringa peregrina

Small tree with massive, fleshy roots
Moringa arborea
Moringa ruspoliana

Tuberous shrub/ herb
Moringa borziana
Moringa longituba
Moringa pygmaea
Moringa rivae


Please get in touch! molson@ibiologia.unam.mx
©1999 Mark E Olson