This research investigated the morphological characteristic variation among West African provenances of Moringa oleifera in order to select the most suitable provenance for planting in Burkina Faso. A provenance experiment involving seven provenances from Burkina Faso, one from Mali, one Ivory Coast and one from Ghana was established in June 2014 in a randomized complete block design with three replications at Ouagadougou in the North Sudanese area of Burkina Faso. Plant growth traits (height, number of branches and pinnae, leaf length and width) and biomass production (above and underground biomass dry weight, under: aboveground ratio and total dry weight) were measured on two-week old and two-month old seedlings. The result indicates no significant correlation between morphological characteristics and agroclimatic data (longitude, altitude and annual rainfall) of the seed origin. Significant variations between provenances for morphological characteristics and biomass production (P ≤ 0.05) were observed. Two-month old M. oleifera exhibited significant differences between provenances (P ≤ 0.05). The average height ranged from 107-40 cm, number of branches from 15-8, number of pinnae per leaf from 12-5, leaf length from 44-16 cm and leaves width from 105-34 cm. The aboveground biomass productions ranged from 1-14 g, underground biomass production from 1-7 g, ratio of under: aboveground from 0.4-0.9 and total dry weight from 2-21 g. Five provenances from Burkina Faso (Gaoua and Dano in the South Sudanese area, Ouagadougou, Fada N’Gourma and CNSF in the North Sudanese area) and one from Ivory Coast (Niangon-Lokoua/Abidjan) in the sub equatorial area) showed superior performances. They can be recommended for planting in Ouagadougou and other areas with similar ecological conditions.
Key words: Leaves, pinnae, agroclimatic, correlation, aboveground and underground biomass.
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