(Last Updated on : 04-07-2013)
Drumstick tree is one of the widely popular trees of the country. The scientific name of Drumstick tree is Moringa Pterygosperma. The name Moringa is a Tamil term and the word Pterygosperma is a Greek term, which means 'with winged seeds'. Drumstick tree belongs to Moringaceae family. The tree is named as Munga, Sondna or Segva in Hindi language. In Telugu language, it is called as Munga and in Malay, it is known as Merunggai or Sajina. Drumstick tree widely grows in the Western Himalayan regions.
The bark of drumstick tree is thick and grey in colour and also wrinkled. It comes off in corky peels. The original flowering season of Drumstick tree is in between the months of February and April. However, some trees also bloom from the month of September onwards as well. The flowers of the tree are velvety white and appear in big, baggy clusters. From time to time, they cover the entire tree in white foam. In each of the tiny flowers, the stem twists sharply at the tip and it bears ten long petals. Nine out of the ten petals fold back around the flower. Six stamens bear the bright orange anthers and they are not equal to each other. When the flowers attain maturity, they turn yellow in colour. Further, the fruits of the Drumstick tree are of pinkish colour. They contain a warped tube and normally take about three months of time to attain their full length. They can achieve any height up to 50 cm. They bear many divided seeds when they are bright green in colour and wavy. Interestingly, the tree got its name 'Drumstick' only because of this amazing pod. The leaves of the Drumstick tree remain divided and sub-divided and the last segments of the leaves are only 1.3 to 2 cm in length. Their shape is oval and they bear some small stalks. They are of clear green colour. The leaves never cross the limit of 60 or 90 cm in length.
Uses of Drumstick Tree
Besides, containing an edible fruit, the Drumstick tree has a lot of other usefulness as well. The scraped root of the tree is an excellent substitute for Horseradish. The twigs and leaves can be used as camel fodder and as the flowers and leaves are rich in vitamins and are used in curries. Drumstick tree also has some valuable medicinal properties. Pungent oil can be obtained from the roots of this tree that is more like mustard oil. Not only this, the root itself is very popular as it can be utilised as a cure for painful throats. Gum exuded from the wood of the tree is used in native medicine. A coarse fibre that is obtained from the bark is useful for making mats, paper and cordage. Thus, with these entire properties Drumstick tree is considered as one of the most popular trees of the country.