Saturday, January 06, 2007

Noni -The Plant

Morinda Citrifolia or Noni is a small tree of "Rubiaceae" family. Originally, it comes from the South East Asian region but gradually its plantation has spread to other parts of the world. The plant is adaptable to a wide variety of natural and soil conditions. Noni can survive in rocky and volcanic valleys, sandy coastal regions, lava-strewn terrains etc. It can grow either on saline soils or on secondary soils. French Polynesia has the richest soils which suit Noni plants.

A mature Noni tree can grow upto nine metres tall and it reaches maturity in about 18 months after plantation. The tree has large, dark green, shiny and veined leaves. On maturity, a tree can yield four to eight kilograms of fruits every month. There is no season for noni plants as they give fruits through out the year. The Noni fruit is oval shaped and four to seven centimetres in diameter. During early stages, the Noni fruit is green but it turns to yellowish and then whitish when it ripens. Taste of the fruit is somewhat bitter and it has a strong odour. But it has so many useful ingredients that people still eat the fruit and make host of other health enhancing and medicinal products from it. Noni is a staple food in many countries in the Pacific Island region. Not only the fruit, many parts of the plant -leaves, roots, husks etc are also very useful.

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