Harvest: Anytime except for winter.
Propagate: Drumstick tree is propagated by 50cm long cuttings planted in spring.
The leaves are the most nutritious part of the tree, being high in calcium and protein and leaves can be picked for salads and stir-fries or sprinkled over pumpkin soup just before serving (can take pumpkin soup to another level). They have a mild mustard taste, while the roots of the tree can be substituted for horseradish where required. The seeds can be fried or roasted and the young pods can be added to soups and stews. Flowers can be eaten also (make a batter using besan flour, dip the flower in the batter and drop in hot oil until lightly browned). Pods freeze well. High-quality oil is extracted from the seed and the seed powder left over from this process has been trialed for purifying water. The sap is used for a blue dye. Keep tree well-pruned by cutting back annually to 1 – 2 metres; this will encourage new leaves and also keep leaves and pods within easy reach. Plant trees as a living fence.
As the drumstick tree is a sun and heat-loving plant, it does not tolerate frosts but is particularly suitable for dry regions.