Moringa, native to parts of Africa and Asia, is the sole genus in the flowering plant family Moringaceae. The name is derived from murungai/munakkai/muringa, the Tamil/Telugu/Malayalam word for drumstick. It contains 13 species from tropical and subtropical climates that range in size from tiny herbs to massive trees.
The most widely cultivated species is Moringa oleifera, a multipurpose tree native to the foothills of the Himalayas in northwestern India and cultivated throughout the tropics. M. stenopetala, an African species, is also widely grown, but to a much lesser extent than M. oleifera.