The horse-radish tree, also known as drumstick (Moringa pterygosperma) is not a legume. It is popularly grown in villages for its fruits. These are long, dagger-like pods swollen with seeds (above left). Young pods make an excellent curry-dish. The pieces of pods are chewed for the seeds and the tough fibres surrounding the seeds are discarded. The young leaves and flowers are also eaten as a vegetable All parts of the plant give off a smell reminiscent of mustard and horse-radish, thus the common name.
The tree attracts a number of birds that come for the flower nectar. The Common Iora (Aegithina tiphia) was photographed by Dr. Redzlan Abdul Rahman eating the flowers (above right).