Morinda citrifolia, commercially known as noni, grows widely throughout Andaman Islands and is one of the most significant sources of traditional medicines. Noni is noted for its extremely wide range of environmental tolerances. All parts of the plant have traditional and modern uses, including roots and bark (dyes, medicine), trunks (firewood, tools), and leaves and fruits (food, medicines).
Scientific name: Morinda citrifolia L.
The botanical name for the genus was derived from the two Latin words morus, mulberry, and indicus, Indian, in reference to the similarity of the fruit of Indian mulberry to that of the true mulberry (Morus Alba). The species name indicates the resemblance of the plant foliage to that of some citrus species.
Other common names of Noni
|COUNTRY & LANGUAGE||NAME|
Guam, the Northern Marianas
Marshall Islands, Chuuk
Cook Islands, Tahiti
Niue, Samoa, Tonga, ’Uvea/ Futuna
Canary Wood, Cheese Fruit
kesengel, lel, ngel
non, nonu atogi, gogu atogi
Nuna & Ach
Noni is a small evergreen tree or shrub 3–10 m in height at maturity.
Noni tree is a small tree, shrub or sometimes liana. There is much variation within the species Morinda citrifolia in overall plant form, fruit size, leaf morphology, palatability, odor of ripe fruit and number of seeds per fruit.
Flowers are perfect, with about 75–90 in ovoid to globose heads. Peduncles 10–30 mm long; calyx a truncated rim. Corolla white, 5–lobed, the tube greenish white, 7–9 mm long, the lobes oblong-deltate, approximately 7 mm long. Stamens 5 scarcely exerted; style about 15 mm long.
Leaves are opposite, pinnately veined and glossy. Blade membranous, elliptic to elliptic-ovate, 20–45 cm long, 7– 25 cm wide, glabrous. Petioles stout, 1.5–2 cm long. Stipules connate or distinct, 1–1.2 cm long, the apex entire or 2–3 lobed
Fruits (syncarp) are yellowish white; fleshy, 10–18 cm long, about 5–7 cm in diameter, soft and fetid when ripe.
Seeds have a distinct air chamber, and can retain viability even after floating in water for months.
Why Volcanic Soil?
The process of turning new volcanic material into beneficial soil takes over thousands of years, as lava from violent eruptions is broken down slowly by living decomposers and a weathering environment.
The dark igneous lava rock (also responsible for Andaman iconic black sands) breaks down into a warm porous substrate which absorbs and holds heat and water, providing an ideal habitat for growth. Its dense weight helps to prevent soil erosion, protecting the island’s vital hummus, warm, hydrated, vitamin-rich soil.