Moringa drouhardii is a deciduous tree that usually grows 5 - 10 metres tall, occasionally to 18 metres. The bole is swollen to facilitate the storge of water and is usually mainly unbranched with short branches near the top[
The tree is often harvested for local use as a medicine and source of oil. The plant is often grown for its useful properties in Madagascar. The excellent qualities of the oil in cosmetic and medicinal products and its adaptation to very dry conditions deserve further research into the possibilities of domestication and utilization in small-scale industries[
]. It is often the only tree left standing when the vegetation is cleared for pasture[
Africa - southwest Madagascar.
Very dry forests, often on calcareous soils[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Wild
A plant of dry to very dry areas, growing where the mean annual rainfall can be as low as 200mm and very unreliable[
]. Completely dry years are not uncommon[
Found wild on calcareous soils[
]. Established plants are very drought tolerant.
Growth of young trees can be very fast if there is adequate moisture, allowing the plants to occupy open spaces in the forest. In cultivation it grows at a rate of more than 1 metre per year[
Trees start bearing 3 years after planting when they have reached a height of 3 - 4 metres[
The seeds yield an oil that is used as a medicinal massage oil[
The very strongly scented bark and wood are used for the treatment of colds and coughs[
The tree is often planted on field boundaries[
The seeds yield an oil that is used as a base for cosmetic products and as a medicinal massage oil[
The oil is odourless, tasteless and does not become rancid in storage, making it an excellent base in perfumery and pharmacology[
]. It was formerly used as a base-oil in enfleurage to extract fragrant volatile compounds from flowers[
]. The seed contains 36 - 45% oil; the approximate fatty acid composition of the oil is: palmitic acid 8%, stearic acid 9%, oleic acid 74%, linoleic acid 1%, arachidic acid 3%, behenic acid 3%[
Seed - sown in a fertile soil in a lightly shaded position in a nursery seedbed. Germination is usually easy and the seedlings straightforward to grow. During the dry season seedlings can be transplanted into the field without irrigation, even into dry places with poor soil[
If you have any useful information about this plant, please leave a comment. Comments have to be approved before they are shown here.