Species Guide: Green Manures


A moringa plant with its spreading, pagoda-like crown.

Common name: Moringa, Drumstick Tree, Horseradish Tree

Malay name: Gemunggai, Kacang Kelor, Remunggai

Scientific name: Moringa oleifera Lam.

Conservation status: Least concern, Cultivated, Naturalised, Introduced (India)


A small, fast-growing tree that grows 8-10 m tall. Tree crown is umbrella-shaped. Leaves are divided into many small leaflets that move in the slightest breeze. It bears white, sweet-scented flowers. Fruits are long, pointed and three-sided.

Habit: Perennial shrub or tree

Cultivation: It is planted by seeds or cuttings

Ecological function:  This plant is planted for erosion control. Its leaves are used to enrich the soil. It is used as living fence, windbreak, shade tree and support for climbing plants. As it is fast growing, it is a good pioneer species for reforestation. Its flowers attract pollinators.

Pollinator: Bees, sunbirds

Soil: Sand, loam, clay

Moisture: Well-drained, fertile soils

Shade: No shade

Use: Edible (flower, seed, seedpod, leaf), seed oil (perfumery, soap-making, lubricant for watches and other fine machinery), ornamental

By ShangMing

A plant lover. I like small, medium, gigantic, ordinary, exotic, local, foreign plants. Just because they thrive to stand out.