Moringa peregrina

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Hebrew name   מורינגה רותמית
Family Moringaceae
Petals 5
Leaf form Pinnate
Leaf margin Entire
Habitat Desert
צורת הגבעול Round
Life form Tree
Distribution in Israel Golan, Judean desert and Dead Sea valley, Ein Gedi, Negev hills and Eilat, Aravah, Jordan Valley,
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Flowering months
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Protected Endangered Nectar plant

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© Photo: Sara Gold   , March
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Additional information

Moringa peregrine is a tree that grows in warm oases and reaches a height of 8 meters. It is an evergreen tree, but the leaflets are shed quickly, and only the leaf axes are left, such that it has a retamal appearance. The branches and the leaf axes hang down, and impart the tree the appearance of a pepper plant (Schinus). The trunk is light colored, single, and divides at a height of 1-2 meters. The leaf is large (30 cm long), pinnates 2-3 times into numerous leaflets that are 1 cm long.
Moringa peregrine blooms mainly from March to April, and continues somewhat also until July. The flowers are bountiful, refreshing, especially on the background of the surrounding arid landscape. The flowers are arranged in complex and separate inflorescences (panicle) that are 30 cm long. The flower has a diameter of 1.5 cm. It is bisexual, not actinomorphic. It is white and pink in a refreshing combination. The flower has 5 sepals, 5 petals that are not identical to each other, 5 fertile stamens and another 5 short stamens that lack anthers. The flowers are fragrant, drip with nectar and draw numerous pollinators. The fruit is dry, thin, and very long (30 cm). It hangs down and opens along its length.
Moringa peregrine is common in the Ein Gedi area. It is very rare in other places along the rift.
Its global distribution spreads over the warm tropical deserts in east Africa. The genus contains 10 species. In Israel there is one species. The genus is the only one in its family.

Written by Mike Livne


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