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What Is Morinda Citrifolia?

Aphids often attack Morinda citrifolia trees and leave a sticky residue on branches and leaves.
Morinda Citrifolia is resistant to the salt water sprays from the ocean.
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  • Written By: Vasanth S.
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 31 October 2014
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Morinda citrifolia is a tree that is part of the Rubiaceae plant family. It is native to southeast Asia and Australia. The tree features yellow fruits that give off a strong pungent odor and dark green leaves. Morinda citrifolia has been used as an ingredient in herbal medicine, and it has been used as a source for colorful dyes.

The genus name of the Morinda citrifolia is derived from the word morus meaning mulberry and indicus meaning Indian. It describes the common name for this tree — the Indian mulberry. The species name describes the tree's likeness to citrus trees. This tree is known by several other names including noni, dog dumpling, and mengkudu.

Morinda citrifolia is distributed in tropical regions of India, Malaysia, Fiji, and China. It is found at elevations up to 7,874 feet (2,400 meters) and is typically grown along rocky or sandy shores. The tree is resistant to the salt water sprays from the oceans.

The Indian mulberry typically grows 16 to 30 feet (5 to 9 m) in height and spreads to a similar width. It features large shiny leaves that are deeply veined. The bark of the tree produces a reddish purple and brown liquid that is commonly used as a dye.

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The flowers of the Morinda citrifolia are short and white. They sprout from a fleshy structure and bloom year round. Once the flower has fallen, a yellow fruit develops. It gradually ripens to a white color and grows 1.5 to 2.8 inches (4 to 7 cm) long.

This tree grows best in well-draining soil that is acidic to neutral in pH. It is adaptable to several types of soil, including that which is sandy and loamy. Since the natural habitat of this tree is typically shade forests, the tree often grows best in an area that is partially shaded from the sun.

The Indian mulberry is affected by several pests, including aphids and weevils. Aphids are particularly bothersome since they leave a sticky residue on the branches and leaves that attracts fungal spores. An insecticidal soap can be applied to infested trees to prevent further damage.

A fungal disease called leaf spot also damages this tree. It causes brown or black spots on the leaves. Another fungal disease which affects this tree is fruit blight. The symptoms include wilting of the shoots and beige blotches on the fruits. Pruning affected branches can help prevent the fungus from spreading.

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bear78
Post 3

Not many people know about this and I just found out from a magazine, but Indian murberry is actually a great source for silk production in India. They use Indian mulberry to rear and cultivate silk worms. It's said to be very productive and makes a very good quality silk.

I think India is now in the process of expanding its Indian murberry plantations so that they can make more silk and export. It's also great that many new workers will be hired and families will find a source of income in rural areas thanks to Indian mulberry.

Sometimes I think that nature is miraculous in itself. Reading the comments here and some articles online about Indian mulberry, I am amazed at how many different uses there are for this plant. Just one plant can help you get silk, dyes, healthy fruits, supplements, teas and so much more. Nature truly is miraculous. Everything we need seems to be provided for us already.

SteamLouis
Post 2

When I was in Southeast Asia visiting family, there were noni plants on our family property. I'm sorry to say this but the fruit of these plants are the worst smelling things I have ever come across. I literally had to back up a bit when they cut it open. They say that it smells like this when it is fully ripe and that it doesn't taste so bad.

I refused to eat it until my aunt cooked it up with lots of spices and made a curry of it. It was pretty decent then. The plant and the fruit is actually used for many different things and noni juice benefits are said to be many.

ysmina
Post 1

The Indian Mulberry also grows in the Pacific Islands. I take Indian Mulberry juice as a supplement for energy and I know my juice comes from Tahiti. The fruit is said to be miraculous and good for so many health issues. I think the locals where this plant is common have been using it to heal their wounds, mouth sores and so forth. It's become quite popular recently. I must have heard about from five or six different people before I gave in and bought some.

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