The whole idea of the International Moringa Germplasm Collection is to provide material of Moringa species for research. But Moringa species are all attractive and unusual plants, and I suspect that when the trees are large, in a few years, the collection will start attracting attention from folks who don’t want to do research on the trees but just want to stroll among them. To give visitors the idea of what Moringas look like in the wild, we have left some native tropical dry forest plants here and there. This gives an idea of the sorts of contexts that moringas can be found in in their native habitats, most of which look very similar to the local Mexican tropical dry forest. Here there are Bursera (copal) species, in Moringa country there is the lookalike and closely related Commiphora (myrrh). Here there are countless Acacias, and in Moringa country too. Here there are Jatrophas, and in Africa as well. Here there are cacti of all sizes, and in Moringa country there are Euphorbias. The native forest at the germplasm site was cut down some 15 years ago. Only one original native tree was left standing, a Caesalpinia, and it was badly damaged in hurricane Jova in 2012. But there are nevertheless a surprising number of very interesting native plants here and there on the site. Here are some photos of a few of them.
Dr. Mark E. Olson is a researcher at Mexico's national university and an expert on the biology of the genus Moringa