Moringa oleifera – Drumstick Tree (plant)
Moringa oleifera is a tree with a million uses. Originally from the Indian sub continent. All parts of the plant are edible, the leaves being exceptionally nutritious. The leaflets are stripped off the leaf and can be eaten raw in salads or cooked, steamed or stir fried. The Moringa seeds yield 28-40% edible oil. The flowers are also eaten. The roots can be harvested to prepare a condiment with a horseradish taste, however the root bark should be stripped off and not too much eaten.
One of the fastest growing garden trees. Growth rates can top 4m in one growing season. I have experienced this in SE Qld with my trees. Moringa oleifera can grow to 12m and live for a number of decades.
Care and Cultivation of Moringa oleifera
Moringa oleifera likes adequate water/fertiliser and a full-sun position in well drained soil. Fast growing and hardy, it is also very drought tolerant but will look better and grown faster with adequate soil moisture. Make sure soil is well drained as they can succumb to root-rot. It is advisable to prune the tree hard to make it easily accessible and easy to harvest the fruit and leaves. Tip prune once it reaches 4-5ft. From reports it is a little frost hardy and deciduous in colder months.