Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Moringa
Moringa stenopetala

Family: Moringaceae
Genus: Moringa (moh-RIN-guh) (Info)
Species: stenopetala (sten-oh-PET-al-uh) (Info)

2 members have or want this plant for trade.


20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

Unknown - Tell us

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Sun to Partial Shade

Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Unknown - Tell us


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Flowers are fragrant
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season
Suitable for growing in containers

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From woody stem cuttings
Direct sow as soon as the ground can be worked
From seed; germinate in a damp paper towel

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

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3 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive DesertDance On Jul 24, 2014, DesertDance from Riverside County Unincorporated, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

I know of two varieties of Moringa, and am growing them for their health benefits. Being quite lazy and impatient, I find stripping Olifeirra of it's leaves much like stripping thyme leaves from the stem!!

SO, I have now planted Moringa Stenopetala (bigger leaves..better tasting) with my fingers crossed that it will live through our winters. We are in a micro-climate. I have fig trees that never went dormant. Mild winters here. Olieferra stopped growing last winter, but shot up like a geyser this spring. I still worry about Stenopetala. I have it planted close to a concrete wall with a concrete driveway close to it to reflect heat during winter. One of my seeds, obtained on Ebay, has germinated and is really cute! I will do what I can to protect this one in winter, to the point of erecting a mini greenhouse over it while it is small.

That my zip code is in Hemet is deceiving. Zip codes are all over the place. We are high in the hills on county land above Hemet. Hemet does freeze in winter, and we hear the citrus orchard turbines below go on when the temps drop, but that does not happen here, so I don't think you could grow Stenopetala in "Hemet," but in zone 9b, I think you can.

Positive MoringaMorey On Jul 22, 2010, MoringaMorey from Bradenton, FL wrote:

I grow Moringa Stenopetala, also called the African Moringa, and Moringa Oleifera. The root bark contains a poweful neurotoxin; nevertheless, many people worldwide eat the root, as a substitute for horseradish. Too much can be fatal - no one seems to be specific as to what "too much" is. My advice is: do not eat the root of the Moringa tree - any Moringa tree. Horseradish is easily obtained, and eating the root will certainly kill the tree, so it is not wise to eat the root, even if the root bark appears to have been totally pared away.

That is the only part of the plant that is potentially toxic, although there are many cautionary statements, about eating Moringa Stenopetala leaves as the sole source of greens. See previous grower's comments.

The Moringa Stenopetala will not bear buds, blossoms, and pods, called drumsticks - the first year. They are a fast-growing tree, but the Moringa Oleifera will provide buds, blossoms, and pods within its first year. We have had them bloom within 6 months, of planting from seed.

They can also be propagated by stem cuttings, readily, although the tree grows best, and will live longer, if planted from seed.

Positive ChayaMan On Sep 30, 2009, ChayaMan from Largo, FL wrote:

Please see my comments on Moringa oleifera elsewhere on this site. M. stenopetala is very similar, although the leaves are larger and easier to harvest. While edible and very nutritious, M. stenopetala leaves should not be eaten as a frequent or single dietary source of food because of a higher incidence of organic acids in the leaves.

In my garden (Zone 9b, microclimate 10a) M. stenopetala does not thrive as well as M. oleifera, although that may simply be a soil preference issue. It seems that M. stenopetala always seems to need more water than M. oleifera.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Hemet, California
Thousand Oaks, California
Bradenton, Florida
Goodland, Florida
Largo, Florida
Sarasota, Florida
Tampa, Florida

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