Moringa pygmaea Verdcourt

Moringa pygmaea is the tiniest member of Moringa. This remarkable species is a delicate tuberous herb with very tiny leaflets on its tripinnate leaves. 

The plant was "lost" for over twenty years, only having been known from the type specimen, collected near Qardho, Somalia, in 1980. In 2001, botanist Mats Thulin of Uppsala visited the Qardho area as part of the Flora of Somalia project. He found the plant in leaf, flower, and fruit. His excting photographs, shown below, are the first ever of the plant in habitat. The plant has not been seen since and has never been brought into cultivation.

Moringa pygmaea images
1. Type specimen; 2. Habit, showing very tiny leaflets, small leaves, and inflorescence; 3. Detail of flowers, which are cream and pale maroon and resemble those of M. rivae; 4. The aboveground portion of this plant consists entirely of a tiny stem and three large fruits! The fruits are erect, unlike any those of any other species of Moringa
1. Moringa pygmaea type specimen 2.Moringa pygmaea habit 3.Moringa pygmaea flower 4.Moringa pygmaea fruits 
click on a thumbnail for a larger image


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