Moringa oleifera Lamk. (Moringaceae)
Vernacular name: ma-room
Common name: horseradish tree (English), drumstick tree (English), wasabinoki (Japanese)
Tree or shrub, much-branched, 3-10 m tall, stem 10-30 cm in diameter; bark corky, whitish, grey or pale buff, containing coarse fibre and exuding white gum when wounded; roots tuberous with pungent bark; young shoots purplish or greenish-white, usually puberulous. Leaves alternate, 2-3 pinnate, up to 60 cm long with 4-6 pairs of pinnae, articulated and soon falling, somewhat crowded towards the twig-ends; petiole 4-15 cm long, petiolule 1-6 mm; leaflets 6-11, elliptical of obovate, 0.5-3 by 0.3-2 cm, glabrous or puberulous. Inflorescence an erect to spreading panicle, 8-30 cm long with numerous white to creamy, fragrant flowers; pedicel 1-2 cm long, articulated near the top. Calyx tubular, 5-lobed, green. Corolla 5, oblong-spathulate, 1-2 cm long, unequal, the largest erect, the others reflexed. Stamens 5, staminodes 3-5, both hairy at base. Ovary superior, on a 2-3 mm long gynophore, densely hair; style tubular with open canal, truncate at apex. Fruit a 3-angled, dagger-shaped, pendant capsule, 10-50 cm long, 1.5-2.5 cm diameter, green at first, later brown, glabrous, each valve 3-ribbed. Seed subglobose, trigonous, the body 1-1.4 cm in diameter, the 3 thin wings 0.5-2.5 cm long.
Per 100 g edible portion they contain: water 87 g, protein 2.5 g, fat 0.1 g, carbohydrates 3.7, ash 2.0 g, fibre 4.8 g, vitamin a 184 IU, vitamin B1 0.05 mg, vitamin B2 0.07 mg, niacin 0.2 mg, vitamin C 120 mg, Ca 30 mg, P 110 mg and 0.2 mg, vitamin C 120 mg, Ca 30 mg, P 110 mg and Fe 5.3 mg.
Young fruits and young shoots are usually put in kang som (sour and sweet curry), young shoots and inflorescence are boiled or blanched and serve with chili sauce. Horseradish tree can be used for diureticum, rubefacient, disinfectant.
It prefers well-drained soil, full sun and is reproduced by seeds or stem cutting.