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Moringa peregrina - (Forssk.) Fiori

Common Name Moringa
Family Moringaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Rocky slopes of wadis and gullies; Acacia- Commiphora woodland, sometimes on nearly bare rock with a strongly reduced root system, at elevations up to 850 metres[299 ].
Range Northeast tropical Africa - southern Egypt, Sudan, Eritrea, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somalia.
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (3 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care (info)
Tender Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun
Moringa peregrina Moringa

Moringa peregrina Moringa


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Physical Characteristics

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Moringa peregrina is a deciduous Tree growing to 8 m (26ft) by 6 m (19ft) at a medium rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 10. The flowers are pollinated by Bees.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Hyperanthera peregrina Forssk. Moringa aptera Gaertn.


Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Oil  Root
Edible Uses: Oil

An oil, known as 'ben oil', is obtained from the seed[299 ]. The oil is used for cooking[299 ]. The seed contains about 50% oil. It is similar to the oil extracted from the seed of Moringa oleifera. The approximate fatty acid composition of the oil is: palmitic acid 9%, stearic acid 4%, arachidic acid 2%, behenic acid 2%, oleic acid 71%, linoleic acid 1%, and gadoleicacid 2%[299 ]. The tuber of the young plant is eaten in Yemen and Oman[299 ].

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

The seeds are used in medicine in the Middle East and Sudan[299 ]. The oil obtained from the seed is used to treat abdominal pain[299 ].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Cosmetic  Filter  Oil  Wood

Agroforestry Uses: A good bee plant[299 ]. Other Uses: An oil obtained from the seed is used in cosmetics[299 ]. Traditional methods to extract the oil, as used by the Bedouin, are very simple but yield little oil. The seeds are crushed, water is added and the seeds are boiled. The mixture is left overnight to allow the oil to float to the surface, from where it is skimmed off. In a more advanced method the seeds are crushed, some water is added and the mixture is gently heated for 10 - 15 minutes. The oil is then extracted using a screw press or hydraulic press[299 ]. The seeds are used as coagulant to purify water[299 ]. The water purifying properties of the seed are caused by a protein which coagulates dispersed particles[299 ]. The seeds are ground to a paste, the paste is put in a bottle and water is added. The mixture is shaken for 5 minutes to activate the protein. The mixture is then sieved and the solution is added to turbid water. After slowly stirring for 20 minutes, fine particles including bacteria coagulate, sink and settle on the bottom. After one hour clear water can be drawn off[299 ]. The wood is very succulent and therefore not used for construction[846 ]. The wood is collected for fuel in the southern Sinai, but it has now become scarce[299 ].

Special Uses

Carbon Farming  Food Forest

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Management: Standard  Regional Crop  Staple Crop: Oil

A plant of the arid tropics. Young seedlings have broad leaflets and form a large tuber. The plant will often only produce herbaceous growth when young, especially in dry years, dying back to ground level in the dry season. Once the tuber is large enough, the growth above ground will become woody and persist[299 ]. The first fruits are produced about 3 years after planting[299 ]. The plant grows quickly from both seeds and cuttings; 3 - 4 metres of annual increase in height is not unusual when adequate moisture is available[299 ]. Pollarding or pruning following harvesting is recommended to promote branching. This increases pod production and facilitates harvesting as the tree is kept at a manageable height[299 ]. A single tree may produce up to 1,000 seedpods per year[299 ].

Carbon Farming

  • Management: Standard  Plants grow to their standard height. Harvest fruit, seeds, or other products. Non-Destructive management systems.
  • Regional Crop  These crops have been domesticated and cultivated regionally but have not been adopted elsewhere and are typically not traded globally, Examples in this broad category include perennial cottons and many nuts and staple fruits.
  • Staple Crop: Oil  (0-15 percent protein, 16+ percent oil). Some of these are consumed whole while others are exclusively pressed for oil. Annuals include canola, poppyseed, maize, cottonseed, sunflower, peanut. Perennials include high-oil fruits, seeds, and nuts, such as olive, coconut, avocado, oil palm, shea, pecan, and macadamia. Some perennial oil crops are consumed whole as fruits and nuts, while others are exclusively pressed for oil (and some are used fresh and for oil).

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

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Seed - best sown in a nursery seedbed in light shade[299 ]. Transplanting 5-month-old seedlings gave good survival rates[299 ]. Cuttings - branches 100 - 150cm long have been used as cuttings and these have performed well[299 ].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Moringa, Miracle tree, Ben tree, wispy-needled yasar tree, wild drum-stick tree

Native Plant Search

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Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Africa, Djibouti, East Africa, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Israel, Jordan, North Africa, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Uganda, Yemen

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

None Known

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed. Although there is concern about the decline of Moringa peregrina stands especially where it is collectedfor firewood, it is not listed in the IUCN Red List[299].

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Moringa oleiferaHorseradish Tree, Moringa,Tree8.0 10-12 FLMHN 445
Moringa stenopetalaAfrican horseradish tree, cabbagetreeTree9.0 10-12 MLMHSNDM434

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


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(Forssk.) Fiori

Botanical References

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here
A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

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