Moringa: Description The species of this genus are deciduous, small shrubs or trees with succulent, tuberous or beet-shaped roots or “bottle trees” with succulent, swollen stems. Their succulent parts in particular contain mustard oil glycosides with a strong horseradish aroma. Some of the shrubby species have very few branches that dry up during periods of drought. In humid periods, they sprout out of the roots with rapid growth.
Stipules lack or sometimes form stalked glands on the bases of the leaf-stalks and partial leaves. In axillary, spiky or zymous inflorescences many flowers stand together. The hermaphroditic, five-pointed flowers are very small to strongly zygomorphic. Between the five free, fertile stamens there are three to five staminodes.
Two to four carpels have grown together to form an upper to semi-lower, stemmed and cylindrical ovary, which carries a slender, tubular stylus without scar rays. The woody, three- to twelve-edged capsule fruit consists of three flaps that ripen when ripe. The numerous, mostly winged seeds do not contain any nutritive tissue. The plant family is very small with one genus and 13 species. The cruciferous plants are more closely related to the caper plants, which were first discovered by DNA analyses. Moringa section with short flower cup and semi-substrate ovary, Donaldsonia Verdc section.