Morinda citrifolia is a tree in the coffee family, Rubiaceae. Its native range extends through Southeast Asia and Australasia, and the species is now cultivated throughout the tropics and widely naturalised. It is commonly known as great morinda, Indian mulberry, nunaakai (Tamil Nadu, India), dog dumpling (Barbados), mengkudu (Indonesia and Malaysia), apatot (Philippines), kumudu (Bali), pace (Java), beach mulberry, cheese fruit or noni (from Hawaiian).
M. citrifolia flower
M. citrifolia grows in shady forests, as well as on open rocky or sandy shores. It reaches maturity in about 18 months, then yields between 4 and 8 kg (8.8 and 18 lb) of fruit every month throughout the year. It is tolerant of saline soils, drought conditions, and secondary soils. It is therefore found in a wide variety of habitats: volcanic terrains, lava-strewn coasts, and clearings or limestone outcrops. It can grow up to 9 m (30 ft) tall, and has large, simple, dark green, shiny and deeply veined leaves. The plant bears flowers and fruits all year round. The fruit is a multiple fruit that has a pungent odour when ripening, and is hence also known as cheese fruit or even vomit fruit. It is oval in shape and reaches 10–18 centimetres (3.9–7.1 in) size. At first green, the fruit turns yellow then almost white as it ripens. It contains many seeds. It is sometimes called starvation fruit. Despite its strong smell and bitter taste, the fruit is nevertheless eaten as a famine food and, in some Pacific islands, even a staple food, either raw or cooked. Southeast Asians and Australian Aborigines consume the fruit raw with salt or cook it with curry. The seeds are edible when roasted. M. citrifolia is especially attractive to weaver ants, which make nests from the leaves of the tree. These ants protect the plant from some plant-parasitic insects. The smell of the fruit also attracts fruit bats, which aid in...