Scientific Name: Azadirachta indica L.


Taxonomic Position According to Cronquist (1981) 

Kingdom :Plantae

Phyllum :Magnoliophyta

Class :Magnoliopsida




Species:Azadirachta indica

Botanical Description

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.

Economic uses: 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.

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