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Moringa and Common Iora

on 5th May 2009

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).

If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

Other posts by YC Wee

2 Responses

  1. That tree is a common playground for a few species such as Common Tailorbird, Magpie Robin and Common Iora.

  2. Moringa tree is very beautiful and mostly grown in the back yard of most Indian homes. The fruit, flowers and leaves are edible although only the fruit is sold in markets.

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