Moringa oleifera (synonym: Moringa pterygosperma) is the most widely cultivated species of the genus Moringa, which is the only genus in the family Moringaceae. English common names include moringa, and drumstick tree, from the appearance of the long, slender, triangular seed pods, horseradish tree, from the taste of the roots which resembles horseradish, or ben oil tree, from the oil derived from the seeds. The tree itself is rather slender, with drooping branches that grow to approximately 10m in height. In cultivation, it is often cut back annually to 1-2 meters and allowed to regrow so the pods and leaves remain within arm's reach.
In developing countries, moringa has potential to improve nutrition, boost food security, foster rural development, and support sustainable landcare. It may be used as forage for livestock, a micronutrient liquid, a natural anthelmintic and possible adjuvant.
The moringa tree is grown mainly in semiarid, tropical, and subtropical areas, corresponding in the United States to USDA hardiness zones 9 and 10. While it grows best in dry, sandy soil, it tolerates poor soil, including coastal areas. It is a fast-growing, drought-resistant tree that is native to the southern foothills of the Himalayas in northwestern India.