Today’s entry was written by Alexis:
Morinda citrifolia is now fairly widely distributed around the world and goes by many names in different countries; it is often called noni, a Hawaiian term, and its English names include rotten cheesefruit, Indian mulberry, and canary wood. Though the species originated in southeast Asia and Australia, it is now naturalized in tropical regions of the Pacific, North America, and South America. Evidently, Morinda citrifolia (PDF) has been known to successfully establish after spreading to new areas, giving it the potential to become invasive. A unique trait the seeds have is the ability to stay viable for several months while in water–a useful skill when dispersing across oceans or rivers. However, the species is not currently considered a major threat.
Morinda citrifolia grows as a shrub or small tree, blooming in the summer and autumn. From a cluster of its flowers comes a single compound fruit or syncarp; the still-developing fruit in the photograph can be expected to turn yellow-white and grow to 5 to 10 cm in length. If you’re looking for a possible natural remedy for ailments such as headaches, high blood pressure and muscle pains or if you just need some Vitamin C, the juice of the fruit can be drunk and is sold commercially. The species has also been investigated for prevention of cancer.