Neem (ആയുർവേപ്)

Scientific Name:Azadirachta indica A.Juss.

Synonyms:Antelaea azadirachta (L.) Adelbert ,
 Azedarach deleteria Medik.

Systematic Position
Class: Dicotylodonae
Sub Class:   Polypetalae
Family: Meliaceae

Common Names
Neem tree, Margosa tree
Vembu, Veppai
Hindi: Neem

Description: Evergreen trees, to 20 m; bark greyish-brown, vertically striated; exudation red, sticky. Leaves imparipinnate, alternate, estipulate; rachis 14-30 cm long, slender, swollen at base, glabrous, leaflets 7-15, opposite or subopposite, estipellate; petiolule 3-5 mm long, slender, glabrous; lamina 4.5-7.5 x 1.5-2.5 cm, lanceolate or falcate, base oblique, apex acuminate, margin serrate, glabrous, coriaceous; lateral nerves 10-18 pairs, pinnate, slender, prominent, intercostae reticulate, faint. Flowers bisexual, 8 mm across, white, in axillary panicles; bracteoles scaly; pedicel 5 mm; sepals 5, connate at base, ovate, margin ciliate; petals 5, free, white, oblong-obovate, pubescent, spreading, imbricate; staminal tube 4 mm long, glabrous, apically 10 lobed; lobes truncate; anthers 10, slightly exserted, apiculate, opposite to lobes, sessile; ovary superior, globose, 3-celled; ovules 2 per cell; style slender, elongate; stigma terete, 3-lobed. Fruit a drupe, 1.5 x 0.5 cm, oblong-ovoid, greenish-yellow; seed one, surrounded by a sweet pulp.

Habitat: Dry deciduous forests, also widely planted

Distribution:  Common in plains from the coast to 900m. Native of India and China, also cultivated widely.

Uses: Medicinal : Bark, Leaf, Fruit, Seed; Fodder: goat; Good fuelwood; Pest management: Leaf, Seed ; Wind break, Live fence, Nectar source, Culturally significant, Green manure, Timber, Implements, Oil