Gora Neem

Gora Neem

Scientific name: Melia azedarach L.

Taxonomic Position According to Cronquist (1981)

Kingdom: Plantae

Phyllum: Magnoliophyta

Class: Magnoliopsida

Order: Sapindales

Family: Meliaceae

Genus: Melia

Species: Melia azedarach

Botanical Description

Habit: A moderate-sized deciduous tree, with a short trunk,  bark greyish-brown,  smooth, lenticellate, becoming lightly fissured or scaling with age, inner bark yellowish. Twig 6-8 mm in diameter, covered with fulvous stellate hairs.

Leaves: Leaves 15-80 cm long, petioles 8-30 cm long, terete, lenticellate, swollen at the base, leaflets 3-8 x 1.0-2.5 cm, ovate or oblong-lanceolate to elliptic, acuminate at the apex, acute to rounded at the base, margin entire to variously serrate, subglabrous to shortly pubescent, lateral nerves 7-10 on each side of the midvein, subsquarrose to weakly ascendent and arcuate, looped at the margin, petiolules 3-6 mm long. Thyrses axillary or on short shoots and in axils of rudimentary leaves thereon, 10-22 cm long, bearing fascicles of scented flowers.

Flowers: Flowers bracteate, bracts 3-10 mm long, filiform, pubescent, caducous, bracteoles similar but smaller, pedicels 2-4 mm long.Calyx lobes ovate, 2 mm long, stellate hairy outside, margin ciliate. Petals 6-10 x 1-2 mm, narrowly oblong, white to lilac or bluish, stellate and simple hairy outside, sometimes simple hairy inside,   midvein  conspicuous.

Androecium and Gynoecium: Staminal  tube subglabrous outside, densely hairy inside, lobes 2-or 4-fid, sometimes irregularly so, anthers c 1.5 mm long,hairy, disk obscure and closely enveloping the ovary, pistil glabrous, stigmas c 0,5 mm long.

Fruit: Fruit a drupe,2-4 x 1-2 cm, plum-shaped, glabrousjl yellowish-brown when ripe.

Seed: Seeds oblong, 1 3.5 x 1,5 mm, smooth, brown.

Economic Importance: Wood is used for making furniture, veneering and sport goods. Leaves and seeds are bitter and expectorant, used in enlargement of spleens and heart complaints. Flowers and leaves are applied as poultice to relieve headache. Leaf-juice is applied internally as anthelmintic and diuretic. Seeds are prescribed in treatment of rheumatism.

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