Scientific Name: Azadirachta indica L.
Common Names : Neem Tree, Nim Tree, Indian Lilac, Margosa Tree
Taxonomic Position According to Cronquist (1988)
Habit:A medium-sized to large evergreen to semi-deciduous tree, up to 30 m tall, bark smooth, fissured and flaking in old woods, pinkish-brown or grey, inner bark orange-red, with sticky foetid sap.
Leaves:Leaves alternate, imparipinnate, 15-35 csubglabrous, leaflets alternate below and opposite to subopposite above, 5-9 x 1.5-3.5 cm, falcate-lanceolate, subglabrous, apex long acuminate, base weakly swollen, very asymmetric, acute, margin serrate, lateral nerves 12-16 on each side of the midvein, obtuse, spreading, petiolules 1-2 mm long.m long, 4-7 jugate, reddish when young, petioles 3-7 cm long.
Inflorescence:Inflorescence axillary, many-flowered panicles, or in axils of fallen leaves, fragrant, up to 30 cm long, subglabrous, branches up to 16 cm long, squarrose, bearing branchlets to 2 or 3 more orders, tipped with cymules of 1-3 flowers, finely sericeous, bracts and bracteoles 0.5-1.0 mm long, lanceolate, more or less pubescent, pedicels c 1.5 mm long, swollen at articulation with pseudopedicel, finely pubescent. Calyx 1 mm long, salveriform, the lobes imbricate, rounded, pubescent, with ciliate margin. Petals linear, spathulate, 4-6 mm long, white, imbricate, pubescent on both surfaces.
Androecium: Stamens 8-10, filaments united to form a cylindrical staminal tube with 10 apical appendages, anthers c 0.6 mm long, basifixed, exserted, disk annular, fused to the base of the ovary.
Gynoecium:Ovary 3-celled, ovules usually 2 in each cell, glabrous to pubescent, style 1, stigmas capitate.
Fruits:Fruit a drupe, 1-2 cm long, ellipsoid, green, turning yellow when ripe.
Seeds:Seeds ovoid, with a thin membranous testa.
(a) Medicinal (In India, people bathe in water with neem extracts to treat health problems. In Africa, neem leaves are chewed, because they are thought to prevent conception and induce abortion.), Timber & Products
[Others]: The seed oil and its byproducts are used in a wide variety of products, such as soap, paper glue, pesticides, livestock feed and fertiliser.
(b)The bark is bitter, tonic and antiperiodic, useful in intermittent fever. It produces a valuable gum and tannin. The leaves, bark and seed oil are used in the treatment of malaria, eczema, dysentery and ulcers, but is particularly effective as a parasiticide for skin diseases such as scabies.