Morinda citrifolia – Noni

Morinda citrifolia - Noni, Indian Mulberry (flowers)

Morinda citrifolia - Noni, Indian Mulberry (fruit)

Morinda citrifolia - Noni, Indian Mulberry, Noni (halved fruit)

Plant Name

Scientific Name: Morinda citrifolia

Common Names: Noni, Indian Mulberry

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial, Evergreen

Growth Habit: Tree, Shrub

Hawaii Native Status: Introduced. This naturalized Polynesian canoe plant is native to Southeast Asia.

Flower Color: White

Flowering Season: It flowers throughout the year.

Height: To 20 feet (6 m) tall

Description: The flowers are tubular and have 5 lobes with pointed tips. The flowers emerge from the tops of the developing compound fruits. The ripe fruits are a translucent whitish to yellowish white color. The leaves are shiny green, up to 1 foot (30 cm) long, and rounded to oblong in shape. The branches are tetragonal (4-angled) in cross section with rounded angles.

Special Characteristics

Canoe Plant – This plant was originally brought to Hawaii by the ancient Polynesians in their canoes. The fruit was used for medicinal purposes (as it still is today) and as a famine food of last resort. The root was used to make yellow dye, while the bark was used for red dye.

Edible – Noni fruit is edible, but it's very foul-smelling. The much more palatable processed and/or blended fruit juice is used in a variety of health drinks and other natural health products.

Foul-smelling – The ripe, white fruit has a nauseatingly bad smell, very much like fresh vomit mixed with rancid garbage. Avoid smelling it if you have a weak stomach.

Classification

Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass: Asteridae
Order: Rubiales
Family: Rubiaceae – Madder family
Genus: Morinda L. – morinda
Species: Morinda citrifolia L. – Indian mulberry

More About This Plant

Hawaii County Distribution Map
Noni or Indian Mulberry (Morinda citrifolia) – The Firefly Forest