Morinda angustifolia Roth
Morinda aspera Wight & Arn.
Morinda bracteata Roxb.
Morinda chachuca Buch.-Ham.
Morinda elliptica (Hook.f.) Ridl.
Morinda ligulata Blanco
Morinda litoralis Blanco
Morinda macrophylla Desf.
Morinda mudia Buch.-Ham.
Morinda multiflora Roxb.
Morinda nodosa Buch.-Ham.
Morinda quadrangularis G.Don
Morinda stenophylla Spreng.
Morinda teysmanniana Miq.
Morinda tinctoria Noronha
Morinda tomentosa B.Heyne ex Roth
Morinda zollingeriana Miq.
Platanocephalus orientalis Crantz
Samama citrifolia (L.) Kuntze
Sarcocephalus leichhardtii F.Muell.
Common Name: Noni
Photograph by: Fev
Morinda citrifolia is a dramatically foliaged evergreen shrub or small tree with a conical crown; it usually grows 2 - 6 metres tall, occasionally to 10 metres. The bole can be 12cm in diameter[
Noni has long had a reputation for its healing qualities[
]. In recent years there has been an upsurge of interest in the nutritional value of its fruit for which it is widely cultivated, especially in Hawaii[
]. It is both cultivated and harvested from the wild for its range of uses, especially as a nutritious food supplement, but also as a dye plant. It is also a very useful pioneer species for re-establishing woodland[
]. Before the introduction of synthetic dyes (such as alizarin) the red dye from the rootbark of Noni was an important commodity[
].There used to be plantations in coastal areas of northern Java and adjoining islands[
]. Nowadays, cultivation for the dye is restricted to areas where traditional textile dyeing is still important, e.g. In the production of high quality batik on Java[
E. Asia - China, India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, New Guinea to Australia.
Evergreen, (semi-)deciduous to more or less xerophytic formations, often typically littoral vegetations[
]. Also in pioneer and secondary vegetation after cultivation and bush fires[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Wild
A persistent and very tolerant plant, noni is widely adapted to a range of tropical and subtropical climates and is commonly found at elevations up to 1,500 metres[
]. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 24 - 30°c, but can tolerate 12 - 36°c[
]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 1,500 - 3,000mm, but tolerates 700 - 4,200mm[
Prefers a well-drained, sandy soil and a position in full sun to partial shade[
]. Succeeds in a wide range of soils[
]. Prefers a pH in the range 5 - 6.5, tolerating 4.3 - 7[
]. Established plants are very drought tolerant[
]. Plants can withstand salt-laden winds[
Plants have a deep taproot[
Flowering and fruiting start in the third year of growth from seed and continue throughout the year[
Yield of the bark for use as a dye is reported to be 500 - 1,000 kilos per hectare[
The plant can live for at least 25 years[
The ability of the seeds to float explains its wide distribution and occurrence on many seashores[
The unripe fruit is used in Indian cooking in sambals and curries[
]. Despite the smell of putrid cheese when ripe, the fruits are eaten raw or are prepared in some way[
The ripe fruit is made into a beverage with sugar or syrup[
The ovoid fruit is 3 - 10cm long and 2 - 3cm wide[
The juice of the fruit is used in Australian bushfoods for dressings, sauces and marinades[
Young leaves and blanched shoots - raw or steamed, added to curries etc[
]. They contain 4.5 - 6% protein[
]. The leaves are a rich source of vitamin A[
The seeds of some forms are roasted and eaten[
Most parts of noni have been widely used medicinally since ancient times[
]. It was first mentioned in literature in China during the han dynasty (206BC - 23AD)[
]. Nowadays, single trees are encouraged or cultivated in gardens mainly for medicinal purposes[
The curative properties of the plant parts are ascribed to the presence of medicinally active anthraquinone derivates[
]. The fruit contains rancid smelling capric acid and unpleasant tasting caprylic acid[
]. It is thought that antibiotically active compounds are present[
The roots are febrifuge, tonic and antiseptic[
]. They are used to treat stiffness and tetanus and have been proven to combat arterial tension[
]. An infusion of the root is used in treating urinary disorders[
]. The bark is used in a treatment to aid childbirth[
Externally, the root is crushed and mixed with oil and is used as a smallpox salve[
]. An infusion of the root bark is used to treat skin diseases[
The roots are harvested as required and used in decoctions[
The wilted or heated leaf is applied as a poultice to painful swellings in order to bring relief[
]. A poultice of the leaves is applied to wounds or to the head in order to relieve headaches[
]. The crushed leaves, mixed with oil, are applied to the face for the treatment of neuralgia[
The leaves are harvested as required during the growing season[
The fruits are used as a diuretic, a laxative, an emollient and as an emmenagogue, for treating asthma and other respiratory problems, as a treatment for arthritic and comparable inflammations, in cases of leucorrhoea and sapraemia and for maladies of the inner organs[
Liquid pressed from young fruit is snuffed into each nostril to treat bad breath and raspy voice[
]. It is also used in the treatment of mouth ulcers, haemorrhoids, hernia or swollen testicles, headaches, pain caused by barb of poisonous fish, removal of a splinter, childbirth, diabetes, diarrhoea and dysentery, fever, intestinal worms, filariasis, leprosy, and tuberculosis[
Young fruits are used to treat high blood pressure[
The fruits can be harvested ripe or unripe and are sometimes charred and mixed with salt for medicinal use[
The roots, leaves and fruits may have anthelmintic properties. In traditional medicine the parts used are administered raw or as juices and infusions or in ointments and poultices[
The plant is a natural pioneer species, rapidly appearing in cultivated ground, after bush fires, deforestation or volcanic activity[
]. It can be used in reforestation projects and, with its wide range of uses, would make a good pioneer species when establishing a woodland garden[
]. It tends to persist, so should only be used within its native range if restoring native woodland[
A red dye is obtained from the root bark[
The basis of the morindone dyeing matter, called Turkish red, is the hydrolysed (red) form of the glycoside morindin. This is the most abundant anthraquinone which is mainly found in the root bark which reaches a concentration of 0.25 - 0.55% in fresh bark in 3 - 5 years[
]. It is similar to that found in Rubia tinctorum[
High-yielding bark may be expected after 3 - 5 years[
]. Yield of bark is reported to be 500 - 1,000 kg/ha, containing about 0.25% morindin[
Traditionally, Symplocos racemosa (a plant that accumulates aluminium) was used as the mordant to fix the red dye[
The fruit pulp can be used to cleanse hair, iron and steel[
The yellow-brown wood is soft and splits excessively in drying. Its uses are restricted to fuel and poles[
Seed - sow in nursery beds. Germination takes place 3 - 9 weeks after sowing[
]. After germination, seedlings are transplanted at ca. 1.2 m x 1.2 m in well-tilled soil[
]. The seeds remain viable for at least 6 months[