Scientific Name: Morinda citrifolia L.
Rubiaceae (Rubioideae) Coffee Family [1]

Noni is “one of the Pacific’s most important medicinal plants, with the roots, bark, leaves, terminal buds, and fruit used to treat a wide range of maladies.” [2] The fruit juice is in high demand as an alternative medicine to treat various conditions and maintain health.

“Noni trees are identifiable by a straight trunk; large, bright green and elliptical leaves; white tubular flowers; and its distinctive, ovoid, ‘grenade-like’ yellow fruit. The fruit can grow in size up to 12 cm or more and has a lumpy surface covered by polygonal-shaped sections. The seeds, which are triangular shaped and reddish brown, have an air sac attached at one end, which makes the seeds buoyant.” [3]

Plants grow along coastlines and streams, on the inner margins of mangroves, as an understorey plant in open forests, and in fallow areas, thickets, and waste places.

Noni is a sturdy plant and can tolerate a wide range of environmental conditions. It grows in dry, wet, acidic, alkaline, and even saline soils.

The biodiversity in French Polynesia was minimal and noni has grown there for centuries. It spreads unrestrained throughout the South Pacific and Hawaii.

Noni is “indigenous from tropical Asia and Australia to southeast Polynesia and Hawaii and the Marshall and Gilbert Islands in Micronesia; probably an aboriginal introduction into at least the eastern part of its range.” [4]

The noni tree is widely featured in Hawaiian, Tahitian, and Tongan mythology (see Traditional Use).

Noni is also referred to as “beach mulberry,” “Indian mulberry,” and various other names (see Noni Around the World).

Noni has distinct chemical constituents (see Noni Fruit) which are responsible for its healthful characteristics.


  1. The New York Botanical Garden. Rubiaceae of the New World. Retrieved January 27, 2005, from
  2. Wang MY et al. Morinda citrifolia (Noni): A literature review and recent advances in Noni research. 2002 Dec; 23 (1 2): 1127 -1141
  3. Clarke, W.C., Thaman, R.R. Agroforestry in the Pacific Islands: Systems for Sustainability. New York: University Press. Appendix.
  4. Thaman, R., Elevitch, C., Wilkinson, K., Multipurpose Trees for Agroforestry in the Pacific Islands