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Murraya koenigii - (L.) Spreng.

Common Name Curry tree, Curry leaf tree
Family Rutaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards None Known
Habitats Dry lowland woodland [307]. Moist forests at elevations of 500 - 1,600 metres in southern China[266].
Range E. Asia - China, Indian subcontinent, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam.
Edibility Rating    (3 of 5)
Other Uses    (2 of 5)
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating    (3 of 5)
Care (info)
Tender Well drained soil Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Murraya koenigii Curry tree, Curry leaf tree

Murraya koenigii Curry tree, Curry leaf tree
M. Chang wikimedia.org


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Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of cone
Murraya koenigii is an evergreen Tree growing to 4 m (13ft) by 3 m (9ft) at a medium rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 10 and is frost tender.
It is noted for attracting wildlife.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Bergera koenigii L. Unresolved

Plant Habitats

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit  Leaves  Oil
Edible Uses: Oil

Leaves - cooked. The pungent, aromatic leaves are a common ingredient in curries, chutneys, stews etc[238 , 301 ]. Leaves are first fried in ghee or oil until crisp, then added to the curry. An indispensible ingredient in southern Indian curries[238 ]. The leaves retain their characteristic flavour and aroma even after drying[301 ]. The leaves dried and powdered and used in spice blends [1-4]. Leaves can be sun-dried and stored [1-4]. Another report says that the leaves are little know away from areas in which the plant is grown because the leaves lose their flavour upon being dried[238 ]. Fruit - a peppery flavour [272 , 301 ]. The black fruit is 8 - 10mm in diameter[200 , 238 ]. Curry plant (Helichrysum italicum) is a totally unrelated plant (an herbaceous annual of the Aster family) that has a curry-like aroma but is not recommended as a substitute for curry leaf in cooking [2-2].

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

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Antidiarrhoeal  Antiemetic  Antiinflammatory  Dysentery  Febrifuge  Stimulant  Stomachic  Tonic

Curry leaf contains several medically active constituents including a glycoside called koenigin, an essential oil and tannins[254 ]. It is a warming, strongly aromatic herb that improves appetite and digestion [238 ]. The leaves, roots and bark can all be used internally in the treatment of digestive problems [238 ]. It has been shown that the leaves increase digestive secretions and relieve nausea, indigestion and vomiting [254 ]. The leaves can be used internally in treating constipation, colic and diarrhoea [238 ]. The leaves are used in the treatment of diarrhoea and dysentery [272 , 307 ]. The leaves can be applied externally as a poultice to treat burns and wounds [254 ]. The leaves are harvested as required and used fresh [238 ]. The roots and bark are harvested as required and can be used fresh or dried [238 ]. The juice of the fruit, mixed with lime juice (Citrus aurantiifolia) is applied to soothe insect bites and stings [254 ]. A paste made from the bark is applied to the bites of poisonous insects and other animals [272 ].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Containers  Hair  Hedge  Houseplant  Oil  Repellent

Agroforestry Uses: Plants can be grown as a hedge [200 ]. Other Uses: An oil is extracted from the ripe seeds [238 ]. An oil obtained from the leaves (essential oil?) is used in the soap industry [307 ]. The leaves are thought to be a hair tonic in India, where it is believed that they can prevent the hair greying [254 ]. The flowers are used to repel shrews [974 ]. Container plant - overwintered indoors in colder areas. An interesting house plant, the leaflets of which can be snipped for cooking [2-2].

Special Uses

Food Forest  Hedge

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

A small evergreen tree which with aromatic compound leaves growing 3-6m in height. Grows best in full sun [307 ]. A very easily grown plant, succeeding in most soils and situations [296 ]. Prefers a fertile, humus-rich, moisture-retentive but well-drained, light soil [200 , 307 ]. Prefers a pH in the range 5.5 - 6.5, tolerating 5 - 7 [418 ]. Leaves may drop in colder areas. Established plants are drought tolerant [307 ]. A plant of the moist tropics, where it is found at elevations up to 1,600 metres. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 27 - 41°c, but can tolerate 8 - 47°c[418 ]. They will not tolerate heavy frosts. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 1,400 - 1,800mm, but tolerates 500 - 2,500mm [418 ]. Plants can sucker freely and also spreads by seeds, so it can become invasive. Due to the vigorous suckering, plants are not really very suitable for small gardens [307 ]. Best sited in locations sheltered from strong winds. In colder climates plants can be grown in containers that are overwintered indoors - allow soil to dry between waterings [2-2]. The leaves can be picked about one year after planting. Main production starts after about 3 years. Yields of 2-2.5 kg per square metre are possible [1-4].

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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Plant Propagation

Seed. Division of suckers in the growing season. Very easy [296 ]. Cuttings of half-ripe wood [200 ]. A spacing of 3.5m is used.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Ar-pa-til, Asare, Bai karee, Ban-neem, Barsan, Barsanga, Basango, Bhursunga, Bishahari, Boke, Bokejanu no, Bokraitee, Bowala, Curryblatt, Curry bwlai, Curry patta, Daun kari, Dengjari, Duo ye jiu li xiang, Efinrin oso, Foglio di curry, Gandaela, Gandhela, Gandhla, Gandi, Gandla, Gangela, Gani, Goranimb, Hikandhi faiy, Hikandhi gas, Hoja de cari, Indian bay leaf, Jhirang, Ka li cai, Kadhilimbdo, Kadi patta, Kantrok samlor, Kantrook, Kara keeling, Karapincha, Karepaku, Karhinimb, Kari, Kariaphulli, Karibevu, Kari pata, Karipatta, Karipattar, Karivempu, Kariveppilei, Karpoolay, Karupillay, Karuvembu, Karuvepillai, Karuveppilei, Kathneem, Kathnim, Kattuveppilei, Konda karivepaku, Kurry patta, Kyaung-thwe, Ma jiao ye, Mechia sag, Meetha neem, Mithhalimb, Mitha-neem, Mitho nim, Mvuje, Nangken nyibumturum, Narashingha, Narasingha, Narasinha, Nolsing, Nwrsing, Poospala, Pyi-naw-thein, Pyindaw-thein, Pyin-taw-sein, Salam koja, Sam-khatsi, Surabhininiba, Sweet neem, Tejpatii, Thamsi-youngihabia, Thengsakso, Thenhskso [1-4].

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Found In

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

Africa, Andamans, Asia, Australia, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, Cook Islands, East Africa, Fiji, Guyana, Hawaii, Himalayas, India, Indochina, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Maldives, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Nigeria, Northeastern India, NW India, Pacific, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, PNG, SE Asia, Sikkim, Solomon Islands, South America, Sri Lanka, Tasmania, Tanzania, Thailand, Tuvalu, USA, West Africa, Zimbabwe [1-4].

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.

A potential weed of riparian vegetation, forest margins, disturbed rainforests, urban bushland, waste areas and gardens.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : Not Listed

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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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Expert comment


(L.) Spreng.

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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